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The Revolution 



ryday Life 



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bor Resistance 
Bush's Legalized Sweatshops 
Inmate Labor* Jane Foi 



May/June 2004 • Issue 26 



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Rock Against Bush 
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Maintenance 

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EDITORS/PUBLISHERS 
Jen Angel • Jason Kucsma 

CONSULTING EDITOR 
Joshua Breitbart 

CULTURE EDITOR 
Sarah Palmer 



PEOPLE EDITOR 
Keidra Chaney 



ECONOMICS EDITOR POUTICS EDITORS 



Arthur Stamoulis 

MEDIA EDITOR 

Catherine Komp 



Madeleine Baran & 
Amanda Luker 

REVIEW EDITOR 

Keith McCrea 



PROOFREADERS 

Belinda Brown. Elliot Adams. Hal Hixson. Scott 

Puckett. Kristen Schmidt 

LAYOUT & DESIGN 
Jason Kucsma 

NEW MASTHEAD CONSULTATION 
Robin Hendrickson, Derek Hogue 

COVER PHOTO: 

Jim West - www.iimwestphoto.com 

WEB DESIGN: 
Derek Hogue 

ADVERTISING 

Rates and deadlines available upon request. 

Please call 419-243-4688 or visit 

www.clamormagazine.org/advertismg.pdf 

PRINTING: 

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P: 866-669-9914 

CLAMOR is a bi-monthly magazine. 
Single copies are $4.50 ppd and 6 issue 
subscriptions are $18 ppd in the US (Outside 
of the US single issues are $6 and a 6-issue 
subscription is $25 in US Funds). Checks may 
be made payable to Become The Media. 

BACK ISSUES: 

are available for the standard single copy rate 

($3.50 + postage). 

Visit www.clamormagazine.org for more info. 

DISTRIBUTION: 

CLAMOR is distributed to stores and 
distributors by Big Top Newsstand Services, 
2729 Mission Street Suite 201. San Francisco, 
CA 94110-3131 info@bigtoppubs.com 

CLAMOR is also available through these fine 
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AK Press. Armadillo, Desert Moon, Doormouse. 
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Last Gasp. Media Solutions. Milligan, One 
Source, Small Changes. Stickfigure. Tower, 
and Ubiquity. 

CLAMOR (ISSN 15-34-9489) is published six 
times a year (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr. May/Jun, Jul/ 
Aug. Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) ©2004 in the US by 
Become The Media Incorporated. PO Box 20128. 
Toledo. OH 43610. Telephone: 419 243.4688 

Postmaster Send address changes to 

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from your editors 

Who is working in America? And if you are working, maybe the questions should be - what 
kind of job are you working? Like the woman on the cover, slinging donuts for Krispy 
Kreme, are you working a service-industry job? Do you have medical benefits? Are you 
represented by a union? Do you even like your job? So you see. without getting too deep 
into economic analysis and speculation (hey, that's what we have the Economist and 
Dollars & Sense for), there's plenty to talk about on the subject of "work.'' 

As soon as we sat down to write this letter, song lyrics we wanted to quote easily came to 
mind. We could have turned to the IWW labor songs for something like: 

Why do you work for 8 hours or more? 

Two of us could have jobs if you'd only work 4. 

Or we could have gone with Aesop Rock's more contemporary "9-5ers Anthem": 
We the American working population hate the fact that 8 hours a day are spent 
chasing the the dream of someone that isn't us. We may not hate our jobs, but we 
hate jobs in general that don't have to do with fighting our own causes. 

Or maybe some of you are more familiar with the classic: 
Workin'9to5 

What a way to make a livin' 
Barely gettin' by 
It's all takin' 
Andnogivin' 
They just use your mind 
And they never give you credit 
It's enough to drive you 
Crazy if you let it! 

Whichever of the countless songs out there dedicated to workin' for a living (Huey Lewis 
anyone?) you claim as your own anthem of disdain for the work-a-day grind, we all share 
one thing in common — we all gotta do it. Many of us love our work. Many of us hate 
nothing more than the thought of another day under the thumb of our boss. And thanks 
to the current administration, millions of us would take whatever we could get right now 
to put some food on our tables. We'll save that last point for discussion later in summer 
when we get closer to the election, but right now let's take a look at what people around 
the world are doing to find purpose or just get by. 

Thanks for reading. Now get back to work. 



4 



-#A 



Jen J Angel and Jason Kucsrrra 

PS: You've undoubtedly noticed the new look on the front cover. We redesigned the 
website, too. The old look served us well for four years, but it was time to make a 
change. We're always trying to improve the magazine, to get it into more people's 
hands, to fulfill our mission more completely. None of that is possible without your 
support, so thank you! 



CLAMOR'S mission is to provide a media outlet that reflects the reality of alternative politics and culture in 
a format that is accessible to people from a vanety of backgrounds CLAMOR exists to fill the voids left by 
mainstream media We recognize and celebrate the fact that each of us can and should participate in media, 
politics, and culture We publish wntmg and art that exemplify the value we place on autonomy, creativity, 
exploration, and cooperation CLAMOR is an advocate of progressive social change through acbve creation of 
political and cultural alternatives 



clam«or 'kla-mer 1 : a loud continuous uproar of many human voices 2 : insistent public expression 



ECONOMICS 

9 Union Cab Cooperative 

Mike Gonzales 
12 Freelancers UNITE! Can Writers Get It Together? 

NickMamatas 
14 Iraq's Labor Resistance 

Shannon Carson 
14 Fighting to Stop the Other War: 

Cheryl Honkala Discusses the War on the Poor 

interview by Rachel Gazda 
16 Bracero 2004: 

How Bush Plans to Legalize American Sweatshops 

ArtemioGuerra 

MEDIA 

20 A Day in the Life of Democracy Now! 

Anna Lappe 
23 Work in the Age of Reality TV 

Anne Elizabeth Moore 
25 TV-piquetera 

Marie Trigona 
27 Word on the Streets: 

Street Papers Amplify the Voices of the Voiceless 

Israel Bayer 
29 The Fixer: Getting the Truth Out About Iraq 

Rob Eshelman 

POLITICS 

32 A 40-Hour Workweek? Yes, PLEASE! 
Kari Lydersen 

35 Sabocat Asks: Where in the World is the 40-Hour Week? 
Madeleine Baran and Amanda Luker 

36 Workin' for the Man 
Victoria Law 

37 Red, White, and Wal-Mart Blue 
Joe Diffie 

38 Welcome to the Military! May I Take Your Order? 
Madeleine Baran 

39 Taking Back Our Health: Ithaca's Health Fund Model for Change 
Susan Leem 



SEX & GENDER 



42 Conjuring the Ghosts of Fondas Past 

Jessica Hoffman 
45 How Safe Are Your Toys? 

Jennifer Grant 

CULTURE 

48 This is Entertainment? Chimp-sploitation in Hollywood 

Sarah Baeckler with Charles Spano 
52 Micranots Intelligence: MC I Self Devine 

interview by Samuel Pixley 

54 What's Your Passion? 
Stella Meredith 

55 Compassionate Science: When Two Good Causes Collide 
Emily Sloan 

PEOPLE 

58 Working It Out: A Prison Work Program That Works 
Christina Cook 

61 Vulnerability and Resistance: Chris Abani 
Tess. Lotta 

62 Job Relocation: Luo Kai Ming Changes Careers 
Michelle Chen 

64 The Unlikely Striken A Side of Mom She's Never Seen Before 
Leilani Clark 

LAST PAGE 

66 Clamor Music Festival 2004! 

REVIEWS 

17 Working Class Hero 

18 Sound Investments 
24 60 Second Shout Outs 
28 Plexifilms 

34 War of Independents 
54 Fanning the Flames 



s 

3 




Please address letters to letters@clamormagazine.org 

or write us at PO Box 20128 Toledo, OH 43610 

Letters may be edited for length. 

Not all letters received will be printed. 



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f 

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A Mom Seeks Justice 

I'm Sherman Austin's mom. I wanted to thank all 
of you for printing the story about his case. This 
case is extremely complex and difficult to navigate 
and I appreciate the fine job you all did in reporting 
the facts. I just wanted to let you know that pg. 
2, paragraph 2 states: "In fact, Austin wasn't 
even charged with anything until six months 
after..." It's important to note that Sherman was 
never charged with any crime. The prosecutor 
threatened to indict Sherman if he did not sign 
the plea agreement. This tactic is typical of our so 
called justice system. Pressuring people to sign a 
plea for a crime they didn't commit by threatening 
a more serious charge if the case goes to trial, i.e., 
the 20 year terrorist enhancement. This is what 
we are dealing with. A justice system based on 
lies NOT truth. What can we do about this unjust 
system that try's to portray itself as a system 
based on truth and equal representation for all? 
I don't have all the answers, but I will continue 
to share the details of this case with whomever 
will listen. Exposing the inner workings of our 
system has become a full time job for me 

Jennifer Martin Ruggiero 
North Hollywood, CA 



Right Topic, Wrong Writer 

I would like to address the article "Contemplating 
Suicide" (March/April 2004). I find four main points 
in the two-page article — which I can summarize in 
one sentence: A human considering committing an 
act of suicide: a) must recognize that he/she has 
the freedom of thought and freedom of action, b) 
must realize that life is finite, c) must realize that 
"option" of suicide would end his/her life hence 
ending all subsequent options of thought and 
action, and — most importantly — d) must come 
to a rational decision based on an internal debate 
concerning the quality of his/her life 

[I would have preferred] the article to address 
how, as a society, we need to contemplate the 
topic of suicide: Why is the topic of suicide still 
often considered a social taboo? In what ways 
does an individual's suicide affect the survivors 
in his/her society? How should we as a society 
address suicide - ' What does suicide indicate 
about the social and physical environment we 
have created for ourselves 7 No mention of 
Durkheim's famous book "Suicide" — which some 
sociologists feel spawned the field of sociology... 

I applaud the author. Matthew Pianalto, 
very little His article didn't even seem to address 
the issue in its title - what suicide, or the act of 



contemplating suicide, "takes" and "gives." If 
he meant to say that considering a suicidal act 
takes a rational thought process but can yield 
an enriched sense of self-awareness, then he 
should have clearly annunciated that conclusion. 
While I question your experience with suicide, 
your long-winded verbiage left me with little doubt 
concerning your identity as a graduate student 
practicing up before his dissertation. 

On the other hand, I do applaud Clamor 
magazine for publishing an article on the topic 
of suicide. Any article on a "hard" topic could 
evoke members of our society to initiate important 
discussion... but next time please select your 
article more carefully. 

Debra Krause 
Boulder, CO 



Aesop Rock: Bringin' Clamor Down? 

I've been holding my tongue regarding that Aesop 
Rock interview (Nov/Dec 2003) since I've read 
it. As someone who is really supportive of what 
Clamor has been doing, it made me question the 
integrity of what I feel like the readership expects 
on a consistent level. Yeah, Aesop Rock is hipster 
hotshit right now, in terms of contemporary Hip- 
Hop culture. After reading the article, I was really 
disappointed, besides lacking any real content, 
it made me wonder if it was just a straight-up 
marketing ploy. I don't know, maybe the point of 
the interview was more subversive than that, and 
it was actually to show that this kid who gets a lot 
of attention and is on a popular "underground" 
label is really just a video game obsessed pothead 
who doesn't have much to say in addition, 
from someone who is also very supportive of 
the conscious Hip-Hop scene (as you are also, 
if I'm not mistaken), it frustrates me to think 
that some readers who aren't as well-versed in 
the genre but have an interest might be instantly 
turned off and assume that the stereotypes 
are true; hiphoppers really are a bunch 
of complacent potheads who aren't activating for 
change. 

Samuel Pixley, 
Winona, MN 



Setting the Record Straight 

I'm the Director of the gallery that sponsored, 
funded and facilitated the Prisoner Art exhibit that 
Susan Phillips wrote about in your current issue 
("Creativity in Confinement" Jan/Feb 2004). 



I take issue with the characterization of the 
Klein Art Gallery, and her lack of any credit to a 
grass roots organization struggling to bring art to 
the public, beyond the usual elite art-going crowd. 

The Creativity in Confinement exhibit was 
part of one of the Klein initiatives called the 
Art & Community Exhibition senes. We feature 
organizations like Books Through Bars that 
use art to reach out and better the lives of their 
underserved constituency. Ms. Phillips failed to 
make any mention of the Klein Gallery other than 
to portray us only as a "polished lobby" that traffics 
the "comings and goings of suits and ties" — which 
is the furthest thing from what that space is and is 
about! The gallery sponsors public school creative 
art workshops regularly, and when 30 kids are in 
the space it is anything but polished and full of 
suits and ties. If anything, the gallery is a great 
example of where the two worlds mix and benefit 
from each other 

Dan Schimmel 

Director & Curator of Exhibitions 

Esther M. Klein Art Gallery 

Philadelphia, PA 

www.kleinartgallery.org 



For a Better World 

I wanted to comment on the article. "Ni Una Mas! 
The Dead of Juarez Demand Justice" (Mar/Apr 
2004). This article is an eye opener to those 
who have never heard about these happenings. 
Someone needs to get up and fight for a better 
Mexico! A better world! People cannot feel 
trapped. We all need to unite politically and let 
our voices be heard: we are not going to take it 
anymore! If we don't fight for the corruption in the 
government to end then incidents like the dead 
women of Juarez will continue to occur not only in 
Juarez, but will spread to other places. 

Linda Rios 
Cicero, IL 

Corrections 

In the Mar/Apr 2004 issue, wnter Wahdah 
Imansha's name was incorrectly listed on the 
contributor's page 

The correct web address for Political Graphics, 
featured in the "Ni Una Mas' article (Mar/ Apr 2004) 
is www.politicalgraphics.org — not com. 

In "The Village of the Bones" (Mar/Apr 2004), 
Tommy Joseph Jimmy's name was spelled 
incorrectly 







Looking for Grants? Experienced proposal writer 
is available to work with your 501 (c)3 nonprofit 
organization (must have this IRS tax status). 11 
years experience, over S3 million raised. Research 
and coaching also available. Sheryl Kaplan, 
Grants Consultant, www.skaplangrants.com or 
sheryl@igc.org. 

The revolution won't be televised, but you can 
read about it. Books for a better world, by Mike 
Palacek, former federal prisoner, congressional 
candidate, newspaper reporter. Please visit: 
iowapeace.com. 

This is the Place: Queers from Mormon 
Families Stake Their Claim. You grew up queer 
and closeted in a Mormon family or household, 
but where are you now? We want to publish your 
story! We are compiling an anthology of such 
stories to arouse, to inspire, to entertain, to teach, 
and most of all, to claim our identities. This is the 
Place for queer writers with Mormon backgrounds 
to pioneer our own collection of groundbreaking 
memoirs, essays, and historical narratives. Send 
your stories by October 31 to: This is the Place. 
PO Box 1150. Bowling Green Station, New York, 
NY 10274. Submissions should be no more than 
5000 words, typewritten in a 12-point font, double- 
spaced and single-sided. Please include a cover 
letter with brief bio and contact info, as well as 
a self-addressed stamped envelope of sufficient 
size for the return of your manuscript. Email 
thisistheplace@riseup.net for full guidelines. 

WANTED: RARE, positive stories from people 
who have worked with Scott Beibin and/or Lost 
Film Festival. These stories will be compiled 
for an itty-bitty-mini-zine. PLEASE NOTE: these 
stories should NOT be about great films that 
you have seen or helped screen at a Lost Film 
Festival event, as Mr. Beibin most likely had little, 



if anything, to do with creating these wonderful 
films. Please send your stories to boxcutterrebe 
llion@graffiti.net by June 1, 2004. We will also 
welcome 250 word submissions detailing why you 
think the Beibin Brigade and the Lost Film Leech 
Machine are not welcome in your town anymore 
- for a possible future Clamor article. 

STICKERS: "If we're so free, why am I driving 
to work?" "Overpopulation - The ultimate child 
buse." "Civilization is a pyramid scheme." $1 + 
SASE each. Send cash or MO to: The Wild Nuts 
Collective, PO Box 2301, Redway. CA 95560. 

CALIFORNIA ZINESTERS: If you are interested 
in having your zine become a part of the San 
Diego State University "West Coast Zine 
Collection," please contact Annie Knight at 
digress@9250x.com. 

PUNK PAPERS Three punk/academics 
are currently co-editing a collection on the 
contemporary (post-1980) punk and hardcore 
scenes. We are writing to invite contributions to 
the volume by punks/activists, most likely (though 
this is not a requirement) those who also have one 
foot in academia. The book will consider issues 
such as resistance, commodification, social class, 
geography, identity (gender, race, sexual diversity, 
etc), and activism. While we welcome ideas for 
contributions, we are less interested in those 
which are simply descriptions of local scenes or 
aspects of the punk movement. Each contribution 
should address larger theoretical and political 
issues in an explicit manner. We are looking 
for chapters of 4,000 to 6,000 words written 
for academic readers as well as punks looking 
for serious discussion of their movement. The 
deadline is July 1, 2004. For more information, 
please write to bookofpunk@yahoo.com. 



because sometimes life just happens too fast 
for bimonthly magazines ... 





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Unless noted, all contributors can be reached care of 
Clamor, PO Box 20128. Toledo, OH 43610. 



Sarah Baeckler (p 48) is a pnmatologist working to 
end the use of great apes in entertainment She learned 
about Jane Goodall in the fourth grade and never looked 
back. Reach her at sarah@chimpcollaboratory.org 

Brandon Bauer (p. 12) is an artist living and working 
in Milwaukee. Wisconsin. His work has been shown 
nationally and internationally Brandon was an editor 
and contnbuted research for the book Peace Signs: 
The Anti-War Movement Illustrated, which is a collection 
of posters and graphics from around the world against 
the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. A DVD of Brandon's 
expenmental video titled "Signaldrift: a day under the 
city" was released by Lowave in May 2003. Brandon can 
be reached at random12@hotmail.com. 

In between breaks from the drawing table, Jerry 
Business (p. 37) can be found nding bikes and drinking 
coffee. Most of the time though he's holed up in his 
apartment with his dog Muggs, drinking coffee, and 
sketching franticly. Mr. Business grew up in Boston and 
Attended Massachusetts College of Art. Currently he's 
scraping by freelancing design and illustration in San 
Francisco. 

Shannon Carson (p. 14) has a passion for learning. 
and reads anything she can get her hands on, time 
permitting. She writes and researches diverse aspects 
of American culture and development. She is also very 
active politically, on both a national and local level. Email 
her at 20thstreetannex@excite.com. 

Michelle Chen (p 62) published five issues of her zine, 
cain, and ran the Alternative Library and Resource 
Center of New Haven before running off to China on 
a research fellowship in the fall of 2003. She is now in 
Shanghai researching the migrant worker population, 
and her travel-related ramblings can be found at 
Onefortytwo.com. Email her at cainzine@yahoo.com. 

Leilani Clark (p. 64) currently lives in San Diego She 
is a substitute teacher, writer, basement musician and 
graduate student. She recently completed the first in 
a series of zmes titled A Watcher of Birds and is also 
working on a compilation entitled Cultivating Monkness. 
Contact her at lmclark27@yahoo.com. 

Christina Cooke (p. 58) currently lives in Portland, 
Maine, where she works for a local magazine, writing 
articles about things like llama farms and whoopie 
pies She produced the piece featured in Clamor as 
a student in the graduate-level wnting program at the 
Salt Institute for Documentary Studies Contact her at 
xtinacooke@yahoo.com. 

Melita Curphy (p 55) AKA Missmonster. spends her 
time making monsters, teaching at a college, and 
laughing at farts See more at Missmonster com. 

Amy DeVoogd (p 36) is an artist-for-hire with a Dutch 
last name Learn more at Devoogd.com 

Joe Diffie (p. 37) resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 
After graduating from Hendnx College, he took up 
a lucrative career delivering pizza for the man He 
works with the Arkansas Indymedia Center, ihe 
Northwest Arkansas Peace Coalition, and any other 
lost cause that strike his fancy. He can be reached 
at joediffie@hotmail com by anyone interested in 
discussing Wal-Mart's plans for global domination, or 
to go out for a game of stick and a cheap draft 



Rob Eshelman (p. 29) is an anti-capitalist dissident 
currently based in San Francisco. His articles have 
appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Counterpunch, 
and Electronic Iraq. He can be emailed at 
robeshelman@riseup.net. 

Rachel Gazda (p. 14) currently lives and works in 
Philadelphia. Her work with the Kensington Welfare 
Rights Union (part of the Poor People's Economic 
Human Rights Campaign) included organizing a 2002 
Media Conference as well as coordinating press 
and media for the New Freedom Bus Tour. For more 
information visit: www.kwru.org or contact Rachel at 
rachel_kr_gazda@hotmail.com 

Mike Gonzales (p. 9) is a full-time taxi driver and part- 
time activist living and working in Madison. Wisconsin, 
and can be reached at mikegonzales@nseup.net. 

Jennifer Grant (p. 45) is a sex toy geek who runs her 
online erotic boutique, ilovexor.com, from the city of 
fallen angels. A.K.A. Dr. Red, she also gives advice to 
the sexually frustrated. She works to uphold and defend 
the basic human right to sexual pleasure, satisfaction 
and freedom. All this takes up most of her time, but she 
is rarely bored. Email her at doctorred@ilovexor.com 

Despite being unemployed. Shawn Granton (p. 54) is 
always busy. Not as busy drawing comix like he should 
(you can peep the latest by sending a measly buck to 
P.O. Box 14185, Portland, OR 97293-0185), but just 
busy. Portland sorta does that to you. Does this blurb 
make any sense? Confused 9 Email him at tfrindustries 
@scribble.com. 

Jessica Hoffmanns work (p. 42) has appeared in 
numerous publications, including Bitch. Kitchen Sink, 
Nervy Girl, and LOUDmouth. She loves getting e-mail, 
so indulge her at chickenrothbaum@hotmail.com. 

Willie Johnson (p. 23) is student minonng in art and 
majonng in journalism. Currently he is working with 
a collective of students to put together a progressive 
zine. To see his artwork, to contact him. or to see details 
about the zine, visit Killtheelite.com. 

Anna Lappe (p. 20) lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her 
first book, Hope's Edge, co-wntten with her mother, 
is part-journey and part-thought piece explonng 
grounded alternatives to corporate globalization. 
SeeHopesedge com She can be reached at: 
anna@smallplanetfund.org. 

Victoria Law (p. 36) has been working with pnsoners 
and around pnson issues for over a decade Since 
2000. she has concentrated specifically on the issues 
and struggles of incarcerated women She is a co-editor 
of the zine Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in 
Pnson and a volunteer for New York City Books Through 
Bars Email her at: vikkiml@yahoo com. 

Susan Leem (p. 39) is thinking of applying for Canadian 
citizenship because she is fan of single-payer health 
care, but she likes Minneapolis and working at Anse! 
bookstore too much. 

Tess. Lotta (p. 61) is a graduate student, wnter, and 
musician living in Los Angeles Currently, she's working 
on new zine. Penny Dreadful, as well as a poetry 
collection and solo recording project 



Kari Lydersen (p. 32) is a journalist based in Chicago 
and an instructor in the Urban Youth International 
Journalism Program Reach her at kanlyde@aol.com. 

Nick Mamatas (p. 12) is the author of the Lovecraftian 
Beat road novel Move Under Ground (Night Shade 
Books) and the recent collection 3000 MPH In Every 
Direction At Once: Stones And Essays (Pnme Books). 
He recently edited The Urban Bizarre. (Pnme) an 
anthology of city stones by zmesters, fantasists, and 
pornographers. His reportage and fiction regularly 
appears in the the Village Voice. Razor. Fortean Bureau. 
and other neat magazines Nick was recently elected to 
the Board of Trustees of the Horror Wnters Association, 
but the opinions expressed in his article are solely his 
own. 

Anne Elizabeth Moore (p. 23) is standing by to take 
your questions now at anne@heykidz.org 

Isis Phillips (p. 20) works at Democracy Now! She is 
also a New York-based freelance photographer and can 
be reached at isisfoto@aol.com. 

Samuel Pixley (p. 52) is a member of The Everland 
Collective in Winona, MN. which sponsors community all- 
ages art, music, and activistevents. He'd like to have more 
time and energy for ongoing collaborations (filmmaking, 
sloganeenng & stenciling, improv horn playing, 
DJ'ing), but habitually works too much. Encourage 
him to pnontize at sectoro@hotmail.com. 

Emily Sloan (p. 55) ndes her fixed gear bicycle to work, 

food, and fun in Houston. Starting in August, she will pursue 
her M.D./Ph.D degrees at the University of Virginia 

Charles Spano (p. 48) is a documentary filmmaker and 
rock journalist Email him at: charlesspano@hotmail.com. 

Joshua Stuewer (p. 9) is a cab dnver and activist 
from Madison, Wl, who is involved in publishing 
Madison's local and sporadically produced independent 
newspaper, The Insurgent He can be reached at 
joshuastuewer@hotmail com 

Sunshine Mark (p. 62) is a multimedia artist operating 
out of SLH, NJ. He is currently engaged in prepanng 
a senes of cunousities. iconographic painted works 
on canvas, and vanous objects, as well as revamping 
his website. Armoredbabycom, in which all will be 
showcased He can be contacted at: 
sunshine@armoredbaby com 

Marie Trigona (p 25) is an independent journalist 
based in Argentina and collaborates with Grupo 
Alavio She can be reached at mtngona@nseup net. 

Danee Voorhees tp 58) is a documentary photographer, 
wnter, and global nomad More of her photography can 
be seen at www danneevoorhees com 

Stephen Voss (p 32) is a photojoumahst based 
in Portland, Oregon He can be reached at 
sv@stephenvoss com. 

JT Yost (p. 16) is always up for drawing uncomplimentary 
illustrations of George W Bush See more unflattenrtg 
portraits at JTYost com 







I 














COOPBRaGiVB 

work worth working*" 







interview W\KeGonza\es 
photos MeaganPansn 




People put themselves through all sorts of weird 
and uncomfortable experiences to make a living. 

Five years ago, I was working in an iron foundry. As pan of the training video, they included a 
portion on how to not evaporate yourself with molten iron. The fact that the risk of evaporating 

yourself on the job was considerable enough to warrant its own time in a training video is prcttv 
tucked up. The fact that I could sit there, watch that \ideo. and not immediately quit the job is even 
more fucked up. But my father worked in a factory and those were the terms of employment I was 
used to. So 1 did my job, made a living, and was generally pretty miserable. 

When 1 moved to Madison, my self-deprecating employment tendencies led me into the food 
service industry. But my tunc at the iron foundry imbued me with a cynicism not conducive to 
waiting tables, and I was unable to earn a living. The irony was not lost on me. Luckily. I found 
Union Cab — a workplace that respects my autonomy as a human being. That shouldn't be an 
anomaly in the world of employment, but unfortunately, it is 

Based in Madison. \\ isconsin, Union Cab Cooperative is a fully worker owned and operated 
taxi company. It was formed by a group of Madison cab drivers who in 1979. after nearly a 
decade of union-organizing drives, strikes, lockouts, and company closures, resolved to create a 
cab company run by the people who drive the cabs. In effect, what they did was create an organic 
democratic institution, putting the workers in control of the decisions that affect their livelihoods. 
The membership elects a Board of Directors composed of fellow workers, which acts as the central 
governing body within the co-op. It controls management, sets policy, and oversees a system of 
committees aimed at involving the membership in all aspects of the business. 

The 25 years since Union Cab's inception have not been a Marxist's wet dream. But in a world 
filled with sweatshops and wage slavery, worker-owned businesses offer a revolutionary alternative 
to the exploitation that surrounds them. Union Cab is living proof of the feasibility of a more humane 
and equitable workplace. 

On a ridiculously cold February evening, my friend. Mike, facilitated a discussion between 
myself and three of our co-workers: Scott, Nan, and John. We discussed our roles as indi\ iduals at 
Union Cab and how the co-op functions as a democratic workplace. All of us experienced cabbies; 
we also had between us a mechanic, a dispatcher, two directors, and the president of the co-op. 




Why did von start working at Union 
Cab? 

Scott: Because I was looking for a job, 
I thought it would be fun. and I was 
broke. I had a friend Terry [who] I met 
in the basement of a leather bar. He had 
a triple major in history, queer theory, 
and sociology. So he made the perfect 
cab driver, completely unemployable, 
but totally smart. He loved the place. 
And I thought if he loves it. then maybe 
I could actually enjoy it. 

Nan: I had always wanted to be a 
cab driver, because you get vour own 
office, and the only thing that's missing 
in your cab is a refrigerator and a 
bathroom. You have a great view. You 
go all over the city. You meet lots of 
people. You never really know what's 
going to happen one minute to the next 
That's why I came here. Fourteen years 
later. I'm still here. 

Do yon feel like most people have a 
voice or have the opportunity to have a 
voice at Union Cab? 

Nan: I do. And it comes back to the 
individual using that voice and being a 
proactive, productive member. It's your 
choice to participate or not. It's the 
same thing as voting for an alderperson 
or mayor or governor or president. If 
you don't want to vote, that's vour 
choice, but you still have that right as 
a citizen. As a member, we all have the 
right to participate. 

Josh: It's important to stress the organic 
nature of the democracy at Union Cab. 
It's not like our government, where 
voters feel alienated and unrepresented. 
Here, if you don't like the decisions 
that arc being made, you can talk to 
the person that made them. You 
them everyday at work. Hie democracy 
is built through conversations with 
indiv iduals. 

Nan: Yet I think some people still do 
feel that their voices aren't heard. Even 
if they feel they've worked through 
the system to have their voice heard, it 
siill comes down to accepting what the 
majority savs Vnd that's a fundamental 
basis of democracy. 

Scott: I think Union Cab is a republic. 
I don't think it's a democracy. It's a 
republic with a threat of a democracy 
I very year when the membership 
meets n\ a democracy. I he Board ot 
Directors acts for the membership in- 



between, but the Board always has to know that the membership has 
the authority, at any time, to call a meeting and overrule the Board. 

John: Which is a very important distinction, because of the trust that 
we, as a membership, put into our Board. We basically say, "'We put 
our faith in you that you are going to make good decisions. But the 
second you step out of line and do something that I as a member think 
is incorrect or harmful to the co-op, I can address that to you, and I can 
address that to the membership, and I can act on my belief to remove 
you. And I can talk to anybody and make my voice heard." 

Nan: And I don"t think that we have a trickle-down system here with 
trust. As U.S. citizens, we are supposed to trust the government, who 
will protect us and take care of us. That's how we're bred. We know 
that's all a bunch of lies. But here, not only do we trust our elected 
people, we're also trusting our comrades to vote responsibly. We trust 
our supervisors, which in a cab driver's case is the dispatcher. We don't 
have a lot of cab driver dispatcher squabbles that other places have. 
We trust the mechanics are doing their job. We trust the management 
and the directors are doing their job. And we have safeguards in place 
so that when that trust is broken there is an avenue to say, "Hey, wait a 
minute. I really think you guys screwed up here. 1 really feel like you 
screwed me on my trust and that my trust in the system 
has been violated." 

Do you think Union Cab Jinn lions heller us a business 
because it operates as a cooperative? 

Scott: Yes. because cab driving doesn't make an awful lot 
of money. A lot of cab companies went under after 9-11. 
We were hurt a little bit, but we've been way deeper in shit 
before and we all hung together. We did what we needed 
to make it better. "We," meaning the co-op. in its history, 
did what it had to do to keep its doors open. And that's 
why we're stronger. 

Nan: I think sometimes the cooperative can actually 
hamstring the business and put the business in jeopardy, 
because often in the business world you have to make a decision 
now. You don't get to make the decision in three months once we 
get consensus and we can all hug. You know there are some real 
fundamental problems with that. Sometimes our democracy travels 
at such a painfully slow pace that we can't necessarily make good 
business decisions in a timely manner. Now, would 1 want it to be 
from the top-down in a traditional business model, where workers 
don't have a say, and we don't ha\ e a w orker-run Board of Directors? 
I wouldn't want to be a part of that. But I think in the 
past we have failed to make decisions because of 
our democracy. It has not been able to keep up 
w ith the pace. 




John: What you are saying is true, but I also think that because we are 
a cooperative, and everyone who chooses to speak can be heard, we 
have a vast resource of ideas. Our ability to adapt is much greater than 
the standard corporate model because the standard corporate model 
depends on a much smaller group of ideas. 

Can vou talk about the growth of the cooperative a little bit? 

Nan: When I was hired, I was one of about 1 1 5 members. And then we 
escalated to 265 or 280. It happened in less than 10 years. Probably in 
like six years we took on 1 50 more people. 

John: It was just nice, steady growth'.' 

Nan: No, it wasn't steady growth. It was poorly planned. It was a 
spike. 

Scott: Now we're trying to have a nice, steady growth. 

Nan: Well, now we're trying to have a regular heartbeat. When I first 
started here we were borrowed to the teeth and still borrowing. We 
were a mirror image of our federal government. "I'll spend S66 million 

a day and take on 
$100 million 
more in debt." 
And 1 think that 
we've learned 
over the years 
that, first of all, 
we are going 
to be around. I 
honestly believe 
25 years ago, 
nobody thought 
of that. And that's 
reflected in our 
policies. We do 
have some issues 
with an aging workforce and how you deal with that. That's really one 
of our next, greatest hurdles, because you don't expect to retire from 
a cab company. 

Scott: Now we're starting to think ahead. And that's cool. I mean 
getting 1 80 people to consciously participate and plan a few years into 
the future is a really big deal. 

Nan: And I think the most unique thing about Union Cab, besides our 
politics and structure, is you are allowed to care here. It's okay to care 
here. 

John: You are encouraged to care here. 

|£l This year is Union Cab s 25' h year of operations. Why are we still 
here, despite so many challenges? 



Josh: I think it has survived so long because it 
requires a committed core of individuals, and for 

25 years, people with interests consistent with 

the cooperative spirit have been coming to Union 
Cab. People who aren't happy with working jobs in 
factories or restaurants, or wherever they don't have 
control of their work environment, end up coming 

here, realizing it's a pretty fucking cool job and 

sticking around, i* 




t 



FREELANCERS 




' 4' 



St 



UNITE! 

Can Writers Get It Together? 

Nick Mamatas 
Brandon Bauer 

hen Time Warner and AOL merged in 2000. they created a massi\e 
multimedia company that controlled a significant slice of the ideo- 
sphere: television, cable, magazines, Internet, high-speed access, and 
content — everything from CNN to DC Comics was 
under its purview. The Federal Trade Commission, 
the government agency charged with keeping cor- 
porate trusts from forming, let the merger go ahead. 
After George W. Bush gained the Presidency, he had 
the Department of Justice step back from breaking 
up the monopolistic software firm Microsoft — the 
case has ended for now with a slap-on-the-wrist 
settlement. The image of a trust-busting government 
protecting the little folks from monopoly capital is 
no longer on the screens of Big Media. And wh\ 
should it be? They wouldn't want the little folks 
getting any ideas. 

However, there is one pernicious group 
of would-be monopolists that the government 
remains commuted to stopping. I'm part of 
this group, as are most of the other writers 
and artists listed on the table of contents of 
tins issue of Clamor. Anti-trust legislation 
keeps us from joining together to demand 
more money for our work, because we are 
freelancers Huge companies can merge together like 
Voltron to create an e\ en greater menace, but freelanc- 
ers, an ever-growing segment o\' the working population, are 
cowering in the rubble of Voltron 's path of destruction 
LegalK. freelancers do not have the right to organize. I he Wagner Act o( 
1935 makes union organizing and collective bargaining an explicit exemption 
from antitrust laws, but only for certain classes of employees. Naturally, indepen- 
dent contractors of all sorts - physicians, writers, consultants, small business 
people, temps, etc. are not legally employees. We use our 
own labor to generate property, then license the use o\ 
that property to the big boys. 

It's not a surprise that capital has pushed 
main more people into freelance work 
through firing and rehiring via temp 
agencies, outsourcing, hiring consul- 
tants, and homework and telecom- 
muting. No unions, no collective / 
endeavor, DO extra taxes, and no 
worker's compensation I here were 
8 6 million independent contractors 
and 1.2 million temporary workers in the 
US in 20(12. and trying to organize brings 
the] l( down on our heads \fterall, we 

might demand health care or even a 
minimum wage. 



'•', 



The average member of the Authors 
Guild earns less than S25.000 and one has 
to sell work pretty regularly to top markets 
to even qualify for Guild membership. In the 
world of fiction, the Science Fiction Writers 
of America and the Horror Writers Associa- 
tion recently pegged five cents a word as the 
minimum rate for "professional" publication 
— half a million words of short stories per 
year would bring in that $25,000. And this 
was a raise from the old pro rate of three cents 
a word. 

Mostly members of the working poor, 
freelance writers and artists are increasingly 
at the mercy of the new media conglomerates. 
Time Warner's magazine division demands 
that writers sign a work-for-hire contract; 
that means that the article belongs to them in 
exchange for a flat fee. Time Warner doesn't 
negotiate their contracts and doesn't need to. 
There are plenty of freelancers looking for 
too little work. After the Supreme Court ruled 
that they just cannot reprint old articles in 
electronic databases, other publications have 
also demanded that freelancers sign all-rights 
contracts. Smaller publishers have learned 
the trick and are introducing language into 
their contracts that literally break the laws of 
physics. Here's a clause of a contract I signed 
in late 2002 for a feature article sold to a 
men's magazine: 

Independent Contractor hereby grants 
to Publisher all rights of every kind in 
and to the Works, all translations of the 
Works and all existing and future deriv- 
ative works of the Works of every kind 
(collectively "Derivative Works"), in- 
cluding, without limitation, copyrights, 
publication rights, distribution rights, 
reproduction rights, rights to create de- 
rivative works, the rights to publish and 
publicly display the works everywhere 
in the Universe by any and all means 
now known or hereinafter invented, and 
all future created rights. 

"Throughout the universe," even though 
time is not a constant, which means that there 
is some area in the universe where I have yet 
to sign this contract. "All future rights," so 
after the sun goes supernova and our planet 
is a floating cinder in space, the alien descen- 
dents of the magazine's publisher will own 
the pheromone-chain excretion rights to my 
story. It's ridiculous, but try explaining the 
curvature of the space-time continuum to a 
small claims court judge. And the assignment 
was for $3,000, or one-sixth of my entire an- 
nual income, so of course I signed the con- 
tract. 

Baronets in the Kingdom of Ownership 

A number of professional author and artist as- 
sociations have thrown their weight behind a 



piece of legislation called the Freelance Writ- 
ers And Artists Protection Act, which would 
allow freelancers the right to form traditional 
labor unions. Predictably, the bill has gone 
nowhere. But even if it were passed and even 
if unions could successfully organize and 
face down Time Warner, Conde Nast, and all 
the rest, the fact is that freelance writers re- 
ally are in a peculiar class position — they're 
middle class socially even when they have in- 
comes lower than members of the organized 
working class. 

Writers are still baronets in the kingdom 
of ownership. Work-for-hire contracts are a 
form of exploitation, but depending on in- 
tellectual property for one's livelihood can 
mean sympathy and solidarity with capital- 
ism against the working class, even when a 
fighting, organized working class can offer 
better protection and more freedom. Too of- 
ten, the fool's hope of writing the next Harry- 
Potter is enough to turn a writer into a mini- 
mogul preoccupied with property, copyrights, 
and money. 

Karl Marx is said to have joked that 
it would be easy to eliminate private prop- 
erty under socialism because capitalism itself 
eliminated private property for almost every- 
body already. Big Media's all-rights contracts 
serve to proletarianize freelancers while 
simultaneously keeping them competitive 
w ith one another, aloof from other workers, 
and unable to legally organize. For every J. K. 
Rowling who goes up from the middle class 
to capitalist class, there are tens of thousands 
of writers being pushed into the working 
class and yet too many freelancers identify 
with Big Media; they think stronger intel- 
lectual property laws will protect them from 
their bosses. On the contrary, laws protecting 
property only protect those w ith lots of it. 

Copyright and intellectual property 
laws are becoming ever stricter, spoiling the 
commons of the public domain. Properties 
ranging from Sherlock Holmes to Mickey 
Mouse should be ours by now, but copyright 
extensions and expansive interpretations of 
trademark rights have kept them in the hands 
of the big corporations — though of course 
corporations like Disney made their billions 
plundering the public domain for Grimm's 
fairy tales, historical figures, and classic leg- 
ends. My own novel, Move Under Ground, 
combines the work of Jack Kerouac and H. 
P. Lovecraft; writing and selling such a book 
is much riskier now that it would have been 
20 years ago. In the same way the agricultural 
commons were shut down and people herded 
into the cities to work in the factories created 
the industrial working class, the enclosure of 
the commons of ideas is creating an informa- 
tional working class, one that had better pick 
up some working class politics very soon. 

Freelance writers are now where waged 
workers were a century ago. The craftsmen 



and artisans looked down on the unskilled 
and kept the labor movement divided for 
too long. We are in the same boat with temp 
workers; hell, most of the freelancers I know 
temp more frequently than they write just to 
keep themselves in ramen noodles and toner 
cartridges. Freelance writers and artists may 
face both legal and socio-economic obstacles 
to organizing, but we're going to have to or- 
ganize anyway, because Big Media is going 
for the jugular. 

Freelance writers need to get past the 
big-money thrill of writing commodified 
nonsense for Time Warner or Bertelsmann 
and choose a side. Let it be the side of the 
rest of the world's workers. Let the kingdom 
of ownership fall into ruin, because we'll be 
better off living in a better universe — one 
that our bosses haven't already staked a claim 
to. •& 

An extended version of this story is online at 
www. clamormagazine. org/issue26. html. 



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CO 



Iraq's Labor Resistance 

Shannon Carson David Bacon 

Try to get a union started here in the land of the free, and you'll 
find a working class that appears to be less than brave. The fact 
that only 1 3.2 percent of Americans belong to a union is a more 
accurate reflection of our society s perception of its freedom 
than any document or romantic prose. 

In Iraq, every factory has an active union. Every last one. 
I his. despite the fact that unions are unrecognized and illegal 
there. As such, U.S. occupying forces have decided to enforce 
Saddam Hussein's decades-old ban on labor unions, going so far 
as to arrest outspoken labor leaders. It's a situation that Iraqis 
have met with resistance. 

Though most Iraqis are pleased that Saddam no longer 
rules their country, they have also experienced wage reductions 
and price inflation since his deposition. These changes have 
been dictated by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the 
governing body in Iraq led by the United States and Britain. In 
order to achieve a living wage from the occupation government, 
the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) has supported a 
number of work stoppages. 

Some IFTU members believe that the lower wages the CPA 
has ordered are designed as a first step towards making Iraq 
more attractive for those seeking to invest in the country. They 
are very concerned with massive rounds of privatization planned 
by the CPA. 

Until now. most large businesses in Iraq have been state- 
owned. This has meant that the profits from textile factories, 
oil refineries, and other industries have remained within the 
country's borders, thus sustaining the economy. When the CEP 
allows for private, foreign ownership of Iraqi companies, new 
owners will be able to take the profits from Iraqi businesses 
out of the country. That very thought is what has emboldened 
workers in Iraq to organize, despite fear of imprisonment and 
investigation. 

In response, the CPA has gone as far as to issue a public 
notice stating that anyone who advocates "civil disorder" (like a 
strike) will be arrested and treated as a prisoner of war according 
to the Geneva Convention. 

But so far, Iraqi unions have stood strong in the face of this 
repression. In mid-December, the CPA tried to lower wages for 
workers at the Southern Oil Company to just $40/ month. Upon 
thrc.it of a strike, the CPA upped the amount to $60/month. The 
oil workers still refused, demanding a $130/month standard. In 
February, the CPA agreed to the union's bid — a monumental 
achievement foi ;inv labor movement, let alone one that is 
wholly illegal. 





Fighting to Stop the 

Chen Honkala is the national spokesperson for the Poor People's 
Economic Human Rights Campaign, and founder of the Kensington 
Welfare Rights Union (K.WRU). A former history teacher and social 
worker with over 20 years of experience organizing poor people, Chen 
Honkala also knows poverty on a first-hand basis. As a single mother, 
she raised her two sons on welfare, mov ing in and out of homelcssncss 
In 1991, Honkala organized K.WRU with a group of mothers on welfare 
and began leading poor Philadelphia families in the struggle for living 
wage jobs, health care, housing, and daily survival. 

Honkala now spends much of her time coordinating the Poor 
People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, a network comprised of 
over 50 organizations of poor people from around the nation. This broad 
coalition unites public housing activists in Chicago and farm workers in 
Florida, temporary laborers in Atlanta, and unemployed miners m West 
Virginia to work together to end economic injustice. 

Rachel Gazda, a former KWRU organizer, had the chance to speak with 
Cheri Honkala in February 2004. 






Can you describe and dispel the "myth of the welfare queen "? 

Cheri: An average welfare recipient in our country is a white woman 
who has two children and stavs on assistance for only a couple of years. 
Instead, the history of racism in our country has been used to paint a 
welfare recipient as being an African-American who has nine children 
and drives a Cadillac — something that is just not the case. 

This stereotype has become so prevalent in our society, thai even 
some people that really do live on the dole have come to believe it. 'Sou 
have while people living on welfare convinced that the social welfare 
system needs to be dismantled. 

From what I'm watching right now around the country, all of us 
that have been welfare recipients are current!) struggling to figure out 
how to get through an extremely difficult period Welfare recipient 
being sent to work two or three jobs without union representation, bad 
hours, not seeing our children, and not having access to adequate child- 
carc. 

At the same time, main are try ing to figure out how to become part 
of this larger social movement calling for economic human rights We 
arc Starting to figure thai out People are making difficult choices to live 
under a much lower standard of living than being on welfare to be a part 
of this movement because the Situation in this country requires it right 
now. 

( tf course, myths about "welfare queens" impact this work as well 
I he reality is that people in our country have been conditioned lo think 
that there are only certain people that can lead in various struggles. 
I here is little acknowledgement that a welfare recipient is a person 

above Chen a wttngUty arrested on July 4 th at a demonttreton «i *ont of the ComtftAon C**r n 
PhaadapM Charges were later dropped (photo by Harvey Frtde) 




)ther War 



Rachel Gazda . p . . M ftnUa u 

talks with organizer Chen Honnaia 
iaiiu> wmi ui & aboutthe ^ 



that has the strength to deal with all the nega- 
tive things society says about you in order to 
receive public assistance. This has been one of 
our hardest battles, and it is not usually taken 
care of by an "undoing classism" workshop. 

What are the effects of the 1996 welfare reform 
legislation and programs such as Welfare-to- 
Work? 

There has been a great public relations effort 
by the powers that be to make it seem that 
welfare recipients are responsible for the ma- 
jority of problems in society — even though 
public assistance is such a small percentage of 
the budget. 

The reality is that welfare recipients have 
been placed in Welfarc-to-Work programs 
that focus almost exclusively on service jobs 
that are very temporary. Women have had to 
struggle horribly in order to secure childcare 
so that they can attend these temporary jobs. 
There is a direct correlation between the num- 
ber of children left at home alone, or who get 
watched by siblings, because their mothers are 
having to work two or three make-shift jobs 
— jobs which don't give healthcare or a living 
wage for them to be able to provide for their 
children. 

So what we are seeing is false reporting 
in newspapers that things are getting better. I 
have been doing this work for 12 years and 
I've never seen things this bad in terms of the 
amount of people that are having to shack-up 
in one house, the amount of people that are 
going without health coverage for themselves 
and their children. I've never seen the waiting 
list for state health care programs so long. I've 
never seen so many children not having access 
to immunizations and instead having to wait 
months at health care clinics. 

Especially if the Free Trade Area of the 
Americas (FTAA) agreement passes and if 
Bush remains in office, I fear not only for our 
country but also for the rest of the world. The 
motion will continue to go in the direction of 



who will do work for the lowest wages, under 
the worst conditions, as opposed to figuring 
out a world and a country that values human 
beings and pays them living wages so that they 
can fully participate in society. 

What exactly do you expect if the Free Trade 
Area of the Americas agreement passes 7 
What have been the effects of NAFTA.' 

The FTAA is aptly referred to as "NAFTA on 
steroids." Well, over three million people have 
lost their jobs as a result of NAFTA. We expect 
the FTAA to be even worse. 

As part of the Poor People's Economic 
Human Rights Campaign's march in August 
2003. I got to travel to North Carolina, where 
I met former employees of the Pillowtex com- 
pany. Some had worked there for 25 years 
Forty-five hundred people went to work one 
day, and their factory closed down and is never 
coming back. When that happens, it's not just 
those 4,500 workers who are impacted. We 
will see in the months to come that the closing 
of factories will literally shut down that entire 
town. 

People in this country are going to con- 
tinue to see their labor being replaced. If we 
don't take back basic values about caring for 
human beings — if the only way that a person 
can have a house and eat is if they sell their 
labor — then we are really in trouble. 

Clearly, a healthcare system that is dependent 
on permanent full-time employment is prob- 
lematic. What do you see as a viable alterna- 
tive to this system? 

I see single payer universal healthcare as the 
answer. I think that those who are very wealthy 
should contribute to helping the rest of the 
folks in this country, who have participated 
in bringing billionaires and millionaires their 
wealth. Collectively, we have a responsibility 
to ensure that we have a system in place in this 
country that values all human beings. With the 



above: The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign at the Lincoln memonal upon arrival in DC. In August 2003 the group traveled from Marks, 
MS through the south and set-up a tent city to call attention to the lack of economic human nghts in the United States (photo by Hans Bennett) 



kind of healthcare services that we have avail- 
able in this country there isn't any reason why 
every human being shouldn't have full cover- 
age so that we can have a healthy society. 

You mentioned that the Bush administration 
has been devastating for our country. Do you 
put any faith in the Democratic candidates for 
the upcoming elections? 

We don't have any faith in a Democratic can- 
didate, but right now we don't really have any 
other choice but to try and figure out how to 
get rid of this administration. Literally, the 
invasion into other parts of the world, the pas- 
sage of the FTAA, and having a world race to 
the bottom are the things that we have before 
us if Bush is reelected. 

What arc some of the future opportunities that 
you will take advantage of to get your message 
out.-' 

Right now we are working around the' clock for 
a huge poor people's march planned for August 
30, 2004 in New York City, marching from the 
front of the United Nations to the doors of the 
Republican National Convention. We intend to 
raise the consciousness in this country. Not only 
do we need to stand in opposition to the war 
taking place in Iraq, but we need to address the 
war taking place here at home. With 5 1 9 cau- 
salities in Iraq and another 9,000 w ho have been 
evacuated because of a major trauma we must 
speak out against the war. But there are an even 
larger number of people in this country that die 
every year because they don't have a basic right 
to housing; or because they are a victim of do- 
mestic violence and they don't have a place to 
go for safety; or they die in our country because 
they don't have access to health care. These are 
things we can change, "fr 

To contact Kensington Welfare Rights Union 
call (215) 203-1945, emailkwru@kwru.org, visit 
nnw.kwru.org or write to KWRU. P.O. Box 50678. 
Philadelphia, PA 19132. 



3 

3 



ui 




, Bracero 2004 

CM 

I How Bush Plans to Legalize American Sweatshops 



Artemio Guerra 
JTYost 



When Bush came out with his guest work- 
ers proposal in January of this year, J 
was organizing Mexican immigrants working 
for cleaning contractors in New York City. 
That night. Guadalupe and Ramon, undocu- 
mented immigrants from Mexico, approached 
me and began to talk about their experiences 
working for a contractor cleaning supermar- 
kets in the neighborhood. 

Many city supermarkets become hell- 
ish sweatshops at night after they close their 
doors. When the gates come down, janitors 
like Guadalupe and Ramon are locked inside 
the stores and are left to toil all night to make 
those floors shine. Ramon has seen managers 
disconnect phones and Guadalupe recalls see- 
ing padlocked fire exits in many of the super- 
markets he worked. Supermarket managers are 
afraid the workers will steal or walk out on the 
job and not finish their shift, so locking work- 
ers up is a way to control them. If there is an 
emergency, there is no way out, no way to call 
for help. 

On a regular night, a janitor can work for 
as long as 12 hours. One janitor can clean as 
many as seven different supermarkets in one 
week. Guadalupe recalls working for 20 hours 
straight and then being sent by the contractor 
to clean another supermarket in a different part 
of town. The pay is S60 a night or S55 if you 
are learning the trade. Many of the workers 
work seven days and over 60 hours a week and 
will never see overtime pay. Others will never 
get paid at all. 

Guadalupe was fired last October when 
he refused to work on his first day oft" in 
weeks. His boss kept the last two weeks o\' 
work as a deposit. Ramon was fired a week 
later and the boss also refused to pay him. 

Undermining a Workers' Movement 

Under Bush's guest worker proposal, sweat- 
shop bosses will determine the fate of workers 
like Ramon and Guadalupe. Bush's program 
proposes a temporary status of three years and 
a maximum of six (if an extension is granted) 
to the millions of undocumented workers al- 
ready in the country — but only if the) get an 
employer to appl\ for them [fthey are abroad. 
they can enter the I nited Stales legally if the) 
are offered a job by an American employee 
who can prove no American worker will fill 
the position. Bush's immigration program 
creates a partnership between government 
and business interests to control the suppl) 
of workers and feed the demand of Amo 
low wage industries Such a guest worker 
program will impose severe limitations to the 
rights of immigrant workers and their abilit) to 
fight for justice in the workplace 

American unions have experienced a 
rapid membership decline in the manufactur- 
ing sector as corporations continue to nunc 
their operations abroad to maximize their 



profits. In the last decade, new immigrants 
have revitalized organized labor as the sen ice 
sector grew during the economic boom of the 
1990s. NAFTA opened Mexico"s borders to 
American and foreign companies seeking 
cheap labor. Bush's guest worker program will 
bring cheap labor to the doors of the sen ice in- 
dustry here at home. This new government and 
business partnership will have absolute power 
over the workers' right to exist in this country. 
Workers will be discouraged to join unions or 
fight for their rights by the fear of losing their 
legal status and becoming, to use the term of 
academic and author Peter Kwong. "forbidden 
workers" again. 

Bush proposes to "match willing workers 
with willing employers." Guadalupe's reaction 
to the program is that "whether or not it works 
depends on what kind of boss you have." It 
you quit or get fired under the guest worker 
program, you will have until your current 
permit's expiration date to find another boss 
willing to apply for you — another "willing 
employer." If you don't find a new job and 
fall off status, you will be subject to deporta- 
tion — that is what you will get for not being a 
"willing worker." 

Furthermore, the guest worker program 
doesn't guarantee the more than 8 million 
undocumented workers in this country the 
right to obtain permanent residency. With a 
cap of 140.000 green cards per year, there is a 
severe gap between the government's current 
immigration policy and the reality of millions 
of immigrant workers. 

From Operation Wetback to the Patriot Act 

Recent history offers a clear example of a 
guest worker program and its consequences. 
When the United States entered WW II in the 
1940s, millions of American workers went off 
to fight the war. creating severe labor short- 
ages. In 1942. the American government cre- 
ated the Bracero program (bracero from the 
Spanish word brazo, meaning ami), a guest 
worker program that admitted as many as 
500.000 Mexican w orkers per year to w ork the 
land and han est the crops. Under the Bracero 
program, more than 5 million Mexican work- 



ers immigrated and grew roots in communities 
throughout the nation. The war ended and. 
since guest workers were not so desperately 
needed anymore, the government orchestrated 
Operation Wetback (yes, the government 
called it that) and deported nearly 2 million 
Mexicans between 1954 and 1956. Many of 
the deported were here legally under the Bra- 
cero program. 

Most criticism from immigrant advocates 
surrounding Bush's guest worker program has 
been framed around its lack of an avenue to 
citizenship. However, we ought to take a deep 
look at the notion that equates citizenship with 
full protection and recognition of a person's 
rights in this country. For instance. Mexican 
immigrants, the largest group of undocument- 
ed immigrants, are not compelled to emigrate 
b) the prospects of American citizenship. A 
long history of troublesome relations with 
their neighbors to the north and a complex 
sense of working class nationalism prevent 
Mexican immigrants from readily embracing 
American citizenship, but once you arrive 
here. American citizenship tums out to be the 
only legal means to be fully recognized as a 
person. 

Any project of immigration reform needs 
to provide an av enue for permanent residency 
and rights and protections for immigrants who 
are not citizens. Bill Clinton denied non-per- 
manent residents the right to access public as- 
sistance and a myriad of federal Iv funded relief 
programs. His 1 996 Immigration Reform Act, 
a precursor to the despised Patriot Act. even 
made them vulnerable to indefinite detention 
in the name of national security if the govern- 
ment ever held any secret evidence against 
them. Immigration advocates who believe that 
the Democratic Party's presidential hopefuls 
are the answ er to the plight of undocumented 
immigrants ought to remember Bill Clinton's 
appalling record. 

Today, permanent residency in this coun- 
try is simply a dangerous, unstable, and fright- 
ening state. A guest workers program w ith no 
avenue for workers to stay and grow roots 
w here they choose is an attempt to sev er any 
possibility of a new workers' movement ever 
emerging in this country. If the immigrants 



who began the struggle for the eight-hour 
workday had been guest workers, the Haymar- 
ket Square riots would never have happened 
and President Wilson would never have en- 
acted the eight-hour workday mandate. There 
wouldn't have been a United Farm Workers 
union and no Cesar Chavez if the Filipino and 
Mexican farmers had gone back after their 
visas expired. No Justice for Janitors and no 
Adrien Brody staring in Ken Loach's retelling 
of the LA strike in the film Bread and Roses. 

Fighting for the Future 

Guadalupe and Ramon, regardless of what 
Bush plans to do, don't have plans to go 
anv where any time soon. They have decided 
to stay here, fight back, and demand their 
back wages. Recently a group of communitv 
residents joined the workers and picketed a 
Met Foods Supermarket in the neighborhood 
of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. They wanted 
the supermarket's owner to show his face. 
Supermarket owners should be accountable 
for the atrocities of the contractors they hire. 
Met Foods didn't want any more communitv 
demonstrations in front of the store so they 
fired the cleaning contractor who abused the 
workers. 

A week after the protest, the contractor 
paid Guadalupe. He hasn't yet paid Ramon. 
We are currentlv organizing other janitors 
working for the same contractor. The labor di- 
vision of the New York State Attorney General 
is conducting an investigation of the wage and 
hour violations. 

\ new labor movement of millions of 
workers like Ramon and Guadalupe is grow- 
ing in the United States. Globalization has 
destroyed the economic infrastructures of de- 
v eloping countries, leaving many immigrants 
little to go back home to. There is an emerging 
web of local struggles of poor people organiz- 
ing for economic justice that exists outside of 
traditional political institutions. Just like the 
peace movement emerged and took to the 
streets to protest the war on Iraq, a new work- 
ers movement will emerge as well. Bush's new 
Bracero program must not be allowed to derail 
this incredible progress. ■& 




Greg MacPherson 

Maintenance CDEP 

G-7 Welcoming Committee Records 

www.g7welcomingcommittee.com 



REVIEW WORKING CLASS HERO 









Greg MacPherson is probably one of the most under-sung singer/songwriters in N. America today. Americans have 
yet to realize that we have a continental equivalent to Billy Bragg, but hopefully this short review takes a couple 
steps toward changing that sad state of affairs. For those of you who are confused, I'm talking about the artist who 
writes songs about life, liberty, and the pursuit of the aforementioned life without coporations meddling in the minu- 
tiae of our work-a-day worlds. On this CDEP, Greg MacPherson covers The Clash's "Bankrobber" with a deftness 
that debunks detractors (myself included) who think most folks should just leave The Clash alone. The standout 
of this short collection, however, is the track "Company Store," which recounts a family tale told by his grandfather 
who worked the mines in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. GMac brings working class sensibility to your doorstep with a 
guitar and a sincere smile. Let him in, and ask him what's on his mind. 
-Jason Kucsma 



REVIEWS SOUND INVESTMENTS 




Eyedea & Abilities 

E&A 

Epitaph 

www.epitaph.com 

Finally, a new album from 
MC Eyedea and DJ Abilities! 
It's self-titled and released 
by Epitaph, but I don't hear 
any rock'n'roll crossover, so maybe somebody's trying 
to cash in on "popular Hip-Hop culture"? Whatever, I'm 
not convinced that E&A are going commercial just yet. 
Though they definitely have mass appeal. My girlfriend 
listened to this while I was out the other day, before 
I even had a chance to hear it myself. She tells me 
later, "What's E&A mean? I listened to it earlier and it's 
gooood!" So nice work fellas; you sold her on the new 
record before I even heard it, and she didn't know who 
the hell you were from the get-go, since she's more on 
that Born Against, Catharsis, and Against Me! tip. Hey, 
maybe that's the rock'n'roll crossover? Anyway, check it 
out everybody, this is the second release by Eyedea & 
Abilities, and it's dope. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the 
battle style, which is where the roots of E&A onginate. I 
don't understand how that trial-by-fire scene does much 
for the unification of the Hip-Hop community. However, 
this record is solid. After hearing the "Reintroduction," 
you'll be like, 'Damn, nice to meet y'all again!" The cuts 
"Now," "Kept," "One Twenty," and "E&A Day" all got an 
x-large "!" from me, by delivering the goods with tight 
production and lyricism intact. The way E&A work to- 
gether, jumping off of one another's sound is interesting; 
you can really hear the camaraderie. "Exhausted Love" 
and "Paradise." are the cool-out cuts on the album. "Star 
Destroyer" on the other hand, is an insane battle anthem 
from outerspace. "Get Along" is a nice, jazz-laden 
interlude while "Act Right" features a message to the 
misbehaving nightlife and "Glass" has an excellent build- 
up that doesn't end with the finale you'd quite expect. All 
in all, a quality record here with righteous productionthat 
just doesn't quit from Abilities and confidence on the mi- 
crophone that you can appreciate from Eyedea. 



Micranots 

The Emperor & the Assassin 

Rhymesayers Entertainment 

www.rhymesayers.net 

If you are unfamiliar with the 
genius that is MNPLS-based 
Micranots, and you consider 
yourself a true fan of con- 
scious Hip-Hop, do yourself a favor by picking up their 
2000 Subverse release. Obelisk Movements. This album 
is a proper introduction; one that will take many listens 
due to its mega-dense content. It's a senous journey 
and a very important one, otherwise you're missing 
a big piece of the Micranots puzzle. The conceptual 
companion piece to Obelisk Movements is their recent 
February 2004 follow-up, The Emperor & the Assassin. 
which fills in the histoncal blanks to paint a complete pic- 
ture of where this unstoppable duo are coming from. The 
production is held down exclusively by DJ Kool Akiem. 
a master in the art of sonic storytelling by layering nar- 
rative soundscapes and meditative beats throughout 
all Micranots releases In addition to what Kool Akiem 
is saying musically, MC I Self Devine demands your 
attention and respect as a true leader m the realm of 
conscious lyncism He's an MC for the people, no doubt, 
and carnes mad weight with his verbal spray, which is 
always a tight and focused grouping on the target sub- 
ject This album is complex in that there are stones within 
stories happening throughout, as each transitioning track 
speaks volumes It's a dark record but it's honest, as it 





jreaks down the early histones of the artists coming up 
n violent times. All the cuts are solid, but stand-outs are 
Glorious" ("Death is the climax, everything is balance in 
he cycle"), "The Origin (feat. Mujaheed), "Steel Toe vs. 
The Rookie" (feat. Slug), "Eight Days" ("Keep yr head up, 
egardless of the set-up, and don't let evil fuck yr head 
jp, don't let up"), "Amerikalogy" (proper dissent theme). 
Neutralize," "Violence" (audio-visceral!), and "Off Beats" 
feat. Malcolm). Plus DJ Kool Akiem's "Intro" & "Outro" 
on this record are classic to his style. In his own words, 
Kool Akiem describes the production; "There is a lot I'm 
saying on this album, but it's up to those people percep- 
tive enough to discern the meaning of what I'm saying. 
It's like contemplating on the meaning of a symbol. You 
have to use your intuition, link things together, uncover 
clues." Micranots are a legendary force, which serve to 
champion the cause of truth and originality in all aspects 
of Hip-Hop. As decorated soldiers in this game, they 
deserve respect and infinite props. 



Rjd2 

Since We Last Spoke 
Definitive Jux 
www.definitivejux.net 

It's been a couple years now 
since Rjd2 premiered his 
critically acclaimed debut solo 
album, Deadringer (Def Jux, 
02). The lag time between that and this recent follow-up 
is definitely not due to a lack of work on his part. This 
kid's a real-deal hustler for sure and one has to wonder, 
does he ever sleep? And if he does, does he dream of 
electric sheep? On Since We Last Spoke, which just 
dropped May 2004, there are no recognizable guest 
MC's like on Deadringer (which some like and some 
don't). But there are no disappointments either. Per his 
usual style, there's a little somethin somethin' on here 
for everybody, from rock steady Hip-Hop beats to Latin 
rhythms to mellow esoteric ambience to insane rock gui- 
tar riffs. Rjd2 has created yet another full-length master- 
piece of ridiculously dope instrumental music that comes 
through as even more "soundtrack-ish" than his previous, 
vhich is just fine by me. If you aren't well versed with his 
)roduction style, he builds soundscapes using several 
nachines as extensions of himself. Specifically, with an 
\kai MPC 2000, up to four Technics 1200 turntables, 
and a Vestax mixer. Though I'm sure these days and for 
his recording, he's using even more toys and updated 
ricks. But Rj's soundscapes are really something special 
)ecause you can find yourself getting completely lost in 
hem With so many layers of sound complemented and 
textured, all created by just one hustling DJ, you gotta 
wonder if the kid isn't a machine. Seriously, if you think 
about it and give his records a thorough listen, he's al- 
ready on that next shit as a robot in disguise. Go check 
out his live set for an impressive show of tumtablism. but 
be careful not to break your neck! 

Various Artists 
Embedded Joints 
Embedded Music 
www.embeddedmusic.net 

The trick with samplers/comps 

is that often they're a big 

gamble for both the featured 

artists, whose songs they 

hope you like, and for the working class folks who fork 

out their cash for a listen. If a specific compilation song 

is subjectively bunk, what are the odds that the public 

will buy that artists' full-length release? I personally don't 

mind sifting through to find the real cuts that I'm feeling. 

but considenng the hit-or-miss nature of comps. it can 





be ruthless work. Luckily, Embedded production duo, 
Ese and Hipsta, have put together a tight gnp of artists 
for their most recent compilation release that dropped 
March 2004. And honestly, there isn't much on this comp 
that I don't like, which is cool since many of the featured 
MC's and crews were new to my ears The opening 
cut, "Check My Willz." featunng veteran Aceyalone is 
confidently killer on both lyrical and production fronts It 
kept me hyped long enough to hear "Adversity Struck,' 
featuring Atom's Family (Vast, Jest, Hangar 18 & Cryp- 
tic), which showcases the talented wordplay of those 
four MC's, backed up by a crazy-ass frenetic production 
track. Brooklyn MC, Tes. shines on "Bare With Me.' a 
real catchy cut that hooks and sticks in your head; the 
following Tes joint, "Main St." was decent too and pro- 
duced by him to boot The Not For Nothin' crew of E-Dot. 
Loer Velocity & Donnan Linkz contribute a three-song 
offering that are all good; on "Eye Opener," "Uhhh Huh." 
and "Story," their lyrical style flows well with their pro- 
duction and I appreciated that. Babbletron (Calm Pete, 
Jaymanilla, & DJ Pre) round out this comp, and I thought 
heir crazy, bugged-out production and vocal skills on all 
hree of their cuts were very cool and listenable. It was 
ad of Ese and Hipsta to end this comp with a couple 12" 
3-sides, although I liked the idea of their inclusion more 
han their actual sonic offenng And so it goes. Overall, a 
;ick-ass collection that's worth having around to im| 
'our pals with. (But more importantly, to potentially 
hem onto something they've never heard that di 
heir support). 

Various Artists 
Definitive Jux Presents 3 
Definitive Jux 
www.definitivejux.net 

OK. so I'm admittedly not much ^ 
of a sampler/compilation fan. 
To me, it's especially irritating 
when a label like Def Jux puts 
out a comp that's nothing more than a collection of teas- 
ers' lifted from upcoming full-length releases that'll drop 
two months later. At least throw us a more substantial 
bone, and include some previously unreleased material 
or B-sides. (Though for all I know, most of this "sampler" 
could be a virtual cornucopia of unreleased'B-side shit 
My promo-bot review copy didn't specify.) So this puppy 
dropped in March 2004 and to my ears, there are more 
misses than hits here. Check it out though. I'm no Def Jux 
hater by any means, as that'd be a ndiculous claim 1 I'm 
crazy about those kids and generally support what most 
of them are up to But comps like this seem like a waste 
of resources to me, especially if it's getting pressed and 
marketed instead of remaining in promo format. With that 
said, there are some as should be expected dope cuts 
on this thing. "Make News" by Carnage is way out with 
its production style and he spits some real hot verbals 
(MNPLS represent!); "Aquatic" by 4" Pyramid features 
a kicked-back. smoky vocal flow that's nice, though 
the bubbling bong thing is totally played out; "Medical 
Assistance" by The Perceptionists (Mr. Lif & Akrobatik) 
s hella cool and that's a collaboration I look forward to 
leanng more from. "Weathermen Radio' with Ca° 
i El-P is an example of great storytelling with a catchy 
Jiorus to boot and I liked this cut a lot; "Oxycofjn Pt 2' by 
El-P & Cage is a dark but well crafted story of love gone 
iouth and the vocal exchanges in conversation format 
s a smart technique; "Take No Chances' by Hangar 18 
from Atom's Family) also sounded real good; tr> 
cut ends on a high note with "Clean Living" by Rjd2. who 
can do no wrong in my book And that s just the way the 
story goes with the "sampler" scene, some get savored 
and others get served. 

all reviews by SMLPXX 





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a day in the life of 




I first heard about Amy my freshman year of col- 
lege. We wore packed into a stuffed hall listening 
to journalist Allan Nairn speak. It was 1991. Nairn 
had just come back from East Timor where he and 
colleague Amy Goodman had been covering the In- 
donesian occupation. He described their vv itnessing 
the slaughter of 270 East Timorese; how they them- 
selves were beaten badly by Indonesian soldiers. 
Nairn suffering, among other injuries, a fractured 
skull. I was profoundly moved li was the first time 
I'd met someone who had put his life on the line to 
gel a story told. 

Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! began in 
1996 as a daily election show led by Ann Good- 
man, by then a long-time journalist Just after Sep- 
tember 1 1. 2001. and within blocks of Ground Zero, 
DN! began broadcasting on radio anil telc\ ision ev- 
ery weekday, today, DN! is simulcast on more than 
I (mi radio stations in the 1 nited States and overseas. 
and you can heai it on roughly 25 National Public 
Radio affiliates, watch it on Free Speech l\ and 
inn public access television stations, and access 
audio, video, anil transcripts online. 

Anna Lappe 
Isis 



6:05 a.m. 

It's six o'clock in the morning and I'm not at Democracy 
Now' My alarm clock is still an hour from sounding, but 
Mike Burke, one of their producers is there, doing last- 
minute prep and compiling the day's headline news 

7:32 a.m. 

The converted firehouse that DN' and Downtown C'om- 
munity Television Center call home is bursting at the 
seams. DNl's mam office is stuffed with desks and moni- 
tors, v uleotapes and posters. Waiting for the show to start. 
1 sit next to a stack of books, with a couple ofTariq Ali's 
Bush in Babylon teetering on top. Behind me. a poster 
reads "IS Out of Humboldt County." I'aped on the file 
cabinet next to me is a list of 100 cities and their college 
radio stations. 

The production team is testing camera angles and 
mics 1 ighl computers and 12 monitors pack a small room 
with a window onto the studio John Kern 's voice booms 
out from the B-roll. 

\ guest paces nervously. He asks me where he should 
put his coat; I tell him I'm as lost as he is He glances 
nervously at the monitors and to the empty seat across a 
round, wooden table where he will soon be sitting 

7:44 a.m. 

Ann Goodman arrives, her arms spilling over with notes. 
She gives a warm hello before she rushes into the studio 
I he clock ticks toward S am 



^DEMOCRACY 




Someone shouts: "I'm not getting channel 7! I'm not getting 
channel 7!" From inside the studio, someone calls out: "Wait, Amy's 
not ready." 

"I'm ready, I'm ready," she insists. 

"She's not ready. She's still wearing her coat." comes the voice 
from the other room. 

7:53 a.m. 

Amy takes off her coat, adjusts her headset. 

The guest is now sitting next to me. He won't be on until the end 
of the show. He's still nervous. I try to reassure him, but I'm nervous, 
too, nervous for everyone. 

Amy practices her lines: "On January 16, Nicholas Yarris walked 
out of a state prison in Pennsylvania after spending two decades on 
death row. DNA had proven his innocence. He joins us in our studio 
today." 

I realize I'm standing next to Nicholas Yarris. He's listening to 
Amy, too, and smiles on the introduction. 

7:59 a.m. 

"Roll numeric, let's go. Roll music," Uri Gal-Ed, the Television Direc- 
tor, commands. And the show begins. 

Amy reads today's headlines: Iraq, civil unions, Kerry and Ed- 
wards, Bush and the National Guard, Haiti, the proposed Comcast bid 
on Disney. 

8:13 a.m. 

Thirteen minutes go by in a flash. I hadn't realized I'd spent all of 
them on the edge of my seat. The show airs live, that means live cuts 
and every mistake matters. Uri shouts continuously, "Take 5! Take 



7!" as he edits between camera angles, choosing shots from a bank 
of monitors. 

They cut to their first guest, Hannah Sassaman, program direc- 
tor at Prometheus Radio Project, a Philadelphia-based advocacy 
group for low-power radio stations. She's speaking to Amy from a 
cell phone on the courthouse steps of the Third Circuit Court of Ap- 
peals as she heads into oral arguments for a case brought by several 
organizations calling for a stay on the media ownership rules passed 
by the FCC in June 2003. 

Later when I talk with Amy, she stresses the importance of 
this storj : "We have to cover every stage of the struggle for keep- 
ing media independent. The FCC is creating rules that amount to a 
takeover of our media, where basically 2, 3, 4 moguls will control 
everything. It is essential to cover because the airwaves are ours, 
they are public's — they are not their property " 

When I ask Amy and others at DN! what makes now such a 
ripe moment for alternative media — and how DN! has been able 
to grow with relatively little resources — the unanimous answer is: 
collaboration, frustration, and technological innovation. 

Ana Nogueira, one of DNI's two television producers, put it 
this way: "DN! is successful because it's the largest public media 
collaboration project in the country. It relies on Independent Media 
Centers from all around the world, it relies on small radio and public 
television stations, it relies on Free Speech TV, it relies on people 
who like our mission and want to donate technology services or web 
support." 

The support for DN! and other alternative media has also 
emerged because people are fed up. As Amy puts it, people are "tired 
of a media that they don't identity with — a media that they don't 
believe in." 



3 

8:27 a.m. 

It's the first break of the hour. Ana rolls B-roll from Iraq while music 
plays. During these breaks and throughout the show, they use some 
of then own footage and a lot that is sent in by supporters around 
the world As recently as a few years ago, they all remind me. access 
to this high-quality footage was next to impossible. And for on-site 
reporting, the costs of satellite transmission were prohibitively high. 
Now all that has changed. 

As one of the best examples, everyone points to the reporting of 
DNI's Jeremy Scahill and Jacquie Soohen from Iraq in the lead-up to 
the invasion. Saddam Hussein was controlling all information com- 
ing in and going out of the country. Only small emails could be sent 

and satellite 

"Our mission is to make * ran sm,ssion 

m. m ■ was lmpos- 

dissent commonplace in sibly cxpcn . 
America." sive. But 

w ith help 
from Indymedia coders, Jeremy and Jacquie used an enhanced 'ver- 
sion of Split, a software that dices video into small, emailable bits and 
compiles it back together on the other end. And so for the year leading 
up to the invasion, Jacquie and Jeremy produced www.lraqJoumal.org 
with streaming images from the ground. 

8:29 a.m. 

Amy introduces her next guest, Michael Massing, who has written a 
critique about the media's role in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. 

The speed of cuts and the complexity of the programming is diz- 
zying. Ana later tells me this is one of their biggest challenges: com- 
munication during the show to ensure seamless transitions and perfect 
cuts. Broadcast networks spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on 
the programs that create these "run-down systems." A price tag DN! 
can't afford. So, in another collaborative effort, they're creating their 
o\\ n. "Open Flows, a collectiv c. radical technology company, is build- 
ing it with us," Ana explained. "Once it's done, we're going to make it 
available as open source to any community group that needs it." 



8:33 a.m. 

Cut to a press conference w ith White 1 louse spokesman Scott McClel- 
lan responding to questions about President Bush's service in the Na- 
tional Guard: "The president fulfilled his duties," McClellan is saying. 
The press conference is broadcast uninterrupted for several minutes. 

McClellan again: "The President recalls serving both when he 
was in Texas and when he was in Alabama." And a minute later: 
"These documents clearly show that the President fulfilled his du- 
ties " And again: "And I think that the lads are very clear from these 
documents. These documents — the payroll records and the point 
summaries verify that he was paid for sen mg and thai he met Ins 

requirements ." 

I can't imagine seeing a clip this long on any thing but C-SPAN 
land how main people watch C-SPAN?). It makes all the difference 
to hear \1c( lellan repeal himself over and over again, hul this sim- 
ply wouldn't fit in the soundbite-driven news of mainstream media 

\licr the show. Ann suggests a more precise term. "I wouldn't 
call it 'mainstream media.' she said "It should be called 'corporate 
media ' It is a minority elite. \ small number of pundits who know 
so little about so much and comment on everything " 

And we've learned a lot about the state of this "corporate me- 
dia" in their coverage ot the war, \im argues "In the runup to the 

war. the media got il all wrong." she said. "The) were simply the 

megaphones ol those in power Bui now. we've got the media basi- 
cally dome piess toi the V\ lute House \nd now I li.it we know they 
got u wrong and the) know h they're still bringing on the same 
people, asking how did we get il wrong? v\ hat about letting someone 

who didn't get il wrong speak ' 



a 



"The whole philosophy of journalism is to hold those in power 
accountable to the public, to be the guardian for the public interest, 
and to broadcast those whose voices we would otherwise not hear. 
We go to where the silence is. That's our job." 

8:59 a.m. 

The show ends with Amy 's mo\ ing conversation w ith Nicholas Yarns. 
As the cameras stop rolling. Amy reaches over and shakes his hand. 
He looks much more relaxed. 

With the taping done, the team immediately switches gears: 
Transcriptions need to be made and put up on the web. fallout from 
the show (including a call from a View York Times reporter who wants 
to rebut Massing) need to be handled, and tomorrow's show needs to 
be planned. 

Much of what makes the show run. I hear again and again, are 
the volunteers. Certain tasks, like show transcriptions, are handled 
completely by them. "We have transcribers across the country," Ana 
tells me. One of their transcribers, the guy who "does Tuesday s." even 
emailed from an Internet cafe in Pans where he was on vacation. He 
was waiting for his transmission to do his weekly transcription. 

In addition to transcription volunteers, dozens of other people 
are involved in the day-to-day operations: "We have one or two vol- 
unteers in every day to help with the flood of administrative details... 
We also seek and use highly skilled volunteers, from video techs, 
database experts. GIS professionals, set designers, and directors. 
We call on volunteers to help set up a temporary studio and at events 
like a recent one in Berkeley with 3.500 people." Denis explains. 

As Amy puts it: "DN! and IMCs are built on almost nothing ex- 
cept the goodwill, curiosity, passion of people who are tired of seeing 
their friends and neighbors through a corporate lens and particularly 
tired — and afraid that that image is being sent around the world." 

4:50 p.m. 

By now, tomorrow's show is set. Amy. Ana and Elizabeth (Press. 
the other television producer), and Mike. Jeremy, and Sharif (Abdel 
Kouddous, another producer I are sitting in the studio. Ana and Eliza- 
beth are finding footage for tomorrow 's show. Mike and Jeremy are on 
the phones try ing to find the best people to interv lew. 

The big-screen TVs are broadcasting CNN. We watch the sixth 
repeat of the Jacksoo-Timberlake top-tearing Superbowl fiasco and 
listen as a guest from the family Research Council laments the loss of 
family values. We all look at each other perplexed when CNN quotes 
Bush saying the media solution is to: "Turn the 'off button on." 

As I sit in the studio surrounded by everyone hard at work to de- 
liver news unfiltered by corporate bias. I think of Mike's words: "My 
biggest hope is that DN' encourages and inspires independent media 
makers to develop their own shows. If every town had their own DN'. 
this country would be a very different place." 

"( >ur mission is to make dissent commonplace in America." Amy 
Stressed. "Dissent is what makes this nation healthy it comes out o\ 
the finest tradition that built this country — and we have to fight for 
it." 

Spending a day in the DN' world, it's easy to forget about the media 
most Americans turn to lb give myself a healthy dose. I return home 
and channel-surf I OX News. \IH . ( BS, and NIU II only takes an 
hour 01 solo begin feeling disheartened 1 v en though DV is grow ing. 
it siill only reaches a fraction of the American public Meanwhile most 
people are watching maggot-eating identical iwuis on I eai I actor or 
hearing the nightly news declare tonight's breaking story "the ending 
you didn't see on Sex and the City " But as I feel my self descending 
into despair, I remember whai \my said when I asked her how she 
keeps her head up in a tune o\ as Orwell would have put it uni- 
veis.il deceit: "We don't have a choice,* 1 she'd answered "We either 
make the world a better place or we don't I prefer to try." * 




Work in the Age of 



Anne Elizabeth Moore 
Willie Johnson 



Reality TV 



A 14-year-old boy in my home state lit himself on tire while 
conducting a school project about how media affects youth. 
I was arrested by the story, as I had recently begun working on a 
book attempting to explain to youth (and the adults that work with 
them) how they can affect the media. As a writer, I was intrigued by 
the intricacies of the plot: copying a stunt from MTV's Jackass, the 
Minnesota boy covered himself with mineral spirits, gazed into the 
lens of a video camera, warned viewers "Don't try this at home." 
and sparked a lighter. He covered over 65 percent of his body with 
third-degree burns and had three major surgeries, but was expected 
to ultimately survive his project about how media affects youth. (The 
5/. Paul Pioneer Press, who broke the story, never reported the boy's 
name in order, they claimed, to protect him from the media.) 

The story didn't appear much on TV — certainly not on MTV, 
and definitely not on MTV's Jackass. I'm not surprised. That show 
would never take responsibility or offer condolences for the boy's 
physical damage because it wouldn't fit the show's theme oiJack- 
<miness. The station would not mention the incident because it 
wouldn't tit MTV's theme of sexy, rock-and-roll rebelliousness, and 
the story wouldn't get much TV play because TV itself clearly bears 
fault. This was unfortunate: This boy made a clear and resounding 
statement about how the media affects youth, but TV, in refusing to 
enter into a dialogue about it. wouldn't allow his statement to affect 
the media. 

As a journalist, I wanted to find out more about this boy's 
project and its disastrous results; but as a media activist and active 
member of the media. 1 knew that this boy had come as close as he 



probably ever would to the media again. And 
this, too, was unfortunate: since TV wouldn't 
properly tell his story, and he had probably 
been scared off of telling it himself, it falls to 
me and other writers to piece together what 
he learned. And, more importantly, what we 
can learn from him. This, in a grand sense, is 
mj work. 

I came across the story in a boxed piece 
on the front page of the Billings Gazette while 
on a cross-country excursion. I was struck at 
once with the impact of this boy's mistake. I 
was at the time traveling home to Seattle after 
working with youth in Chicago on a differ- 
ent kind of project about how media affects 
youth. Everyone — kids and adults — in this 
after-school arts program made a zine as a 
way of responding to the media. The zines 
we made in that program (and everywhere 
else I went that spring) and the Minnesota 
boy's video made the same point: the media, 
including television, radio. Internet, newspa- 
pers, magazines and even books, are influ- 
encing us in negative ways. We don't like this 
influence. It is harmful. 

The statement made by the video of the 
boy in Minnesota, however, was much more 



N9 
CO 



effective than our zines. He was recreating 
a "human barbecue" stunt in which a guv 
in a fireproof sun covers himself in meat 
and climbs onto a grill. As countless papers 
reported, he even repealed the warning given 
before IV stunts when he told people not to 
try his stunt at home. Unfortunately, he was 
trying it at home and it was extremely dan- 
gerous It nearlv killed him. The message in 
his \ ideo (which I have not seen and do not 
wish to see) that we didn't point out in our 
zines the message he didn't even mean to 
convey, as it damaged him so severely — is 
that the media lies blatantly. 

And this was his mistake: in allowing 
the media to exist in his life unmediated — in 
simply recreating something directly that 
he had witnessed on television — this Mid- 
western boy was permuting a whole array 
of damaging influences entrance to his life. 
He claimed, ha ha, to "get it." He believed 
(falsely) that he was in on the prank. "Don't 
tr\ this at home," he inside-joked, perhaps 
thinking his viewers, presumably all early 
teens themselves, would "get it" too. Ha ha. 
they might have laughed, had the stunt pro- 
ceeded as the boy intended, as he had been 
promised by television it would. 

And had the stunt proceeded as the boy 
clearly intended it too had he been able to 
copy MTV ■"s./nc kuw prank successfully and 
complete his home video unscathed — the 
joke would have been profound. "Don't try 
this at home," he would have been able to 
repeat, in an ironic way, for the rest of his 



life, knowing that he had tried it at home, 
and nothing had happened to him. His v ideo 
would thus have become infamous in that 
Minnesota high school. I know. I might have 
gone there Catching TV at its own game 
was always good, clean fun when I was 
growing up. 

But the stunt did not proceed as the boy 
had seen it on TV, because the media lies 
blatantly. If not jn word then in deed. No 
matter how many times we hear the phrase 
"reality television." the two concepts are not 
interchangeable, lla ha, you can almost hear 
MTV. the inventor of that genre, responding. 

IV even more than other media, is 
tricky: it may tell you not to do something. 
but it also shows you how to do the thing 
you're not supposed to do. Given the number 
of conflicting messages we all filter through 
to make sense of TV, it is perfectly under- 
standable that a boy could have heard and 
repeated the phrase "Don't try this at home." 
while trying something dangerous at home. 
The media constantly convey untruths, bi- 
ased opinions, and pointless trivia. Christina 
Aguilera's hair color. Our exciting victory in 
Iraq. That trouble-maker Ralph Nader. Pans 
Hilton. Michael Jackson. Sex in the City. This 
slew of pointless messages shouldn't be able 
to harm you, but the boy in Minnesota proved 
that it can. 

Despite our full knowledge of this, all 
of this, the media remain our primary sources 
for information about the world. We learn 
about romance from Sean Connery, about 



happy families and healthy bodies from TV 
commercials about life insurance and break- 
fast cereals, about what's cool from Britnev 
Spears, about communication from websites 
like Gaia and cell phone packages like Ve- 
n/on. and about danger and fear from daily 
newspapers, owned often by people who 
profit from the purchases of car alarms and 
missile defense systems we make to lessen 
our anxiety. The lesson of the boy in Minne- 
sota is that we need to find a better way of us- 
ing the information gleaned from TV besides 
emulating it in our daily lives. Unmediated. 
these messages damage us. 

As I mentioned, it is my job as a writer 
to find the messages in this boy's experience. 
And in this case. I am forced to do so without 
this boy's input. It's peculiar work, writing. I 
couldn't have stopped that boy even if I had 
been invited to try. I'm not a firefighter. I'm 
not a negotiator, I'm not a psychologist. I'm 
not his parent, and I'm not the inventor of an 
exciting new barbecue-proof suit for kids 
Ok. I am a member of the media, and that 
makes the situation somewhat more confus- 
ing, but my work is to describe for you what 
we should and shouldn't — really, honestly 
— try at home. 

Don't emulate messages from the media 
to prove how damaging the media can be. 
Don't attempt to dismantle the master's house 
with the master's tools. Make v our own tools, 
be they /ines. videos, or exciting new bar- 
becue-proof suits for kids. Re-mediate vour 
media. Do your ow n w ork. "fr 



SHOUT OUTS 

Thankfully, the rate that people put out amazing 
projects far surpasses how often we're able to put out 
magazines. Here are a few things you shouldn't put 
down this issue of Clamor without knowing a little bit 
about. Plexifilm (plexifilm.com) has recently released 
Justin Mitchell's (Songs for Cassavettes) Dirty Old 
Town film on DVD. The film chronicles a day in the 
life of Ted Leo and Pharmacists as they prove in 
one well-edited hour of footage why they are the 
hardest working independent musicians in the biz. 
Even though the Coney Island show that is featured 
is also the day that Leo succumbed to throat/voice 
problems, the performance still shines. Another right- 
coaster, Atom and His Package has sadly hung 
up the Casio for the indefinite future, but not before 
recording a CD/DVD of his last show for Hopeless 
Records (hopelessrecords.com). The package is a 
worthy tribute to the artist whose sincerity and wit 
have won over thousands of fans worldwide. I'm 
already looking forward to the next project, though we 
may have to wait until after Atom and his wife have 
settled into their new roles as parents before that 
happens! While some legends hang it up, others are 
S dusting off the equipment It's been eight years since 
the Descendents have released a full length, but this 
spnng they've launched a punk rock juggernaut Cool 
To Be You on Fat Wreck Chords (fatwreck.com). A 
skeptic of the reunion-genre, I was surpnsed by 
the energy and insight on this CD — growing older 
^eems lo have engendered an appreciation for 
J5 subtlety without sacrificing the blistering speed and 






I 
f 

E 

5 

E 



pop sensibilities that won us over back in the day. 
It's also a healthy "Fuck you, this is how you do it!" 
to all the shitty mall-punk that's littering the streets 
these days. A lot of artists have also spent the last 
couple years trying to figure out how to capitalize 
on the electronic rock craze that bands like The 
Faint (where's that new album fellas?) bulldozed 
the globe with — most have failed miserably at it. 
We've commented in Clamor how Stylex brilliantly 
fuse Devo and Brainiac, and now it seems that 
Heartcore's (heartcorerecords.net) Addicted 
2 Fiction are entering the ring. The female 
Brooklyn-gone-L.A trio creates ethereal 
pop and goth music that earns them a 
seat alongside the likes of Ladytron 
and Interpol, and while the CD is hot, 
A2F begs to be seen live. Speaking 
of the Faint, bassist Joel Peterson 
has just released his second 
release (Fulfilled/Complete) under 
the solo project name Broken 
Spindles Broken Spindles, in 
my unrefined opinion, continues Saddle 
Creek's (saddle-creek.com) perfect batting 
average — putting out innovative records that are 
also incredibly inviting to the average music fan 
San Francisco's Deerhoof have been accomplishing 
the same feat around the globe On the heels of 
their 2003 critically-acclaimed Apple 0' release, 
Deerhoof kicked off the spnng by releasing Milk Man 
on Kill Rock Stars (killrockstars.com) The CD is an 




overwhelmingly beautiful CD that is simultaneously 
ominous and airy — disarming and inviting And while 
some have said that Deerhoof have a tendency to 
dabble in the inaccessible. Milk Man is anything but. 
That inaccessibility has been a big reason why I've 
never been able to get into Amps for Christ the 
"folkcore" project created by ex-Man Is The Bastard 
guitarist/organist Barnes. However the newest AFC 
release, People at Large on 5 Rue Christine (5rc.com) 
has been getting extended play around here. Don't 
get me wrong, it's still all kinds of crazy (two versions 
of Auld Lang Syne on different homemade 
electronic instruments 9 ), but it's also a 
beautiful intersection between 
folk and hardcore — and 
I'm NOT talking about the 
aunk shit that assumes 
something is folk just 
ause it's unplugged This 
authentic Appalachacore. 
finally on the aural front, 
'inbacks Armistead Burwell 
(also formerly of Three Mile 
'Pilot) has graced us with a new 
under the name Systems 
Officer The self-titled CD follows in 
the tradition of other Burwell projects that foreground 
haunting beauty with emotionally compelling (and 
technically complex) arrangements. The EP will be 
released May 11 by Ace Fu Records (acefu.com). 
-Jason Kucsma 






"We are working to construct an identity and thinking that reflects the 
working class's and exploited sectors' specific interest and necessities. 
The camera is a tool, another weapon." 

-Grupo Alavio, direct action and video 



Alternative media in Latin America, 
particularly in Argentina, has played 
a fundamental role in generating organi- 
zation and direct actions over the last one 
hundred years. At the onset of the 20 lh 
century, anarchists in Argentina used the 
printing press to mobilize workers and be- 
gan a tradition of constructing outlets al- 
lowing each group to create its ou n media 
and express a multitude of ideas. Another 
tradition these groups left behind is the 
necessity to utilize the printing press not 
as an end or purely as symbolic resistance, 
but to generate revolutionary actions such 
as striking, work slow downs, machinery 
sabotage, and free love. 

The adaptation and appropriation of 
technologies has been one of the most im- 
portant tools for activists to develop new 
communication practices. TV-piquetera 
is one experience emerging from debates 
about the necessity for movements to 
create their own media and to go beyond 
limitations that alternative media has self- 
imposed. Grupo Alavio and the Popular 
Unity Movement-December 20 (MUP- 
20), an unemployed workers organization 
based in several neighborhoods in Greater 
Buenos Aires, began working together to 
launch media projects. From this collabo- 
ration, a new and powerful organic media 



alternative was realized: TV-piquetera. TV-piquetera transmits live 
pirate TV signals during road blockades and from poverty-stricken 
neighborhoods on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Media activists 
Enrique Carigao and Ricardo Leguizamon launched TV-piquetera 
in the aftermath of the popular insurrection of December 19 and 20, 
2001. But the project did not take off until Grupo Alavio facilitated 
TV-piquetera's first broadcasting experience during a direct action 
on September 25, 2003. 

It was during an ongoing piquetero road blockade at the Argen- 
tine transnational beer brewery, Quilmes, that protestors transmitted 
a live pirate television signal to a local channel. The antennas were 
oriented toward the blocks surrounding the factory, where many of 
the factory's 500 workers reside. One of the objectives of the trans- 
mission was to counter-inform the mass media's criminalization of 
the action by informing the neighbors surrounding the factory about 
the conflict and explaining the piqueteros' demands for dignified 
work. During the transmission protestors articulated their reasons 
for the blockade, expressed solidarity with the Quilmes' workers. 
and described what it's like to be a piquetero. Grupo Alavio also 
broadcasted self-produced short documentaries. 

Argentina's working class has been plastered by the economic 
crisis while most economic sectors have profited from the intense 
devaluation of workers' salaries. According to National Statistics 
Institute (INDEC) 2003 data, unemployment stands at 16 percent; 
meanwhile, the government considers the 2.2 million receiving pre- 
carious welfare-to-work plans of 150 pesos (about 50 US dollars) 
as "employed" in the census. Since the 1990s, unemployment has 
swelled to levels never seen in Argentina's history. Today, 58 percent 
of the population is living in poverty and 44 percent of the active 
population is either unemployed or underemployed. Without access 
to the factory and utility of tools for liberation such as striking, sabo- 



N9 

en 



MEDIA 



tage, and factory occupation, unemployed workers sought out new 
practices for struggle — the road blockade, which is a method to 
prevent merchandise from arriving to the market. Just as anarchists 
organizations used the printing press, MUP-20 is using the television 
transmissions to accompany the road blockade. 

TV-piquetera has since broadcasted in several neighborhoods, 
rotating transmissions and programming. During the transmissions 
in MUP-20's community center, a shack in the neighborhoods in 
Solano in the southern Greater Buenos Aires district of Quilmes, 
piqueteros from MUP-20 participated in every aspect of the com- 
munity television experience — planning the programming, produc- 
ing the specially prepared news pieces, arming the studio, cooking 
empanadas and pizza, raising the antenna and watching the program- 
ming in the screening room in the movement's kitchen. 

Like other pirate TV experiences, TV-piquetera ruptures with 
dominant discourse and expropriates technologies originally aimed 
for ideological control. MUP-20's publication explained the motives 
for the transmission: "It demonstrates that we do not need to depend 
on bosses and owners to make ourselves visible and communicate 
w ith our neighbors. To tell our story with our own media is to think 
w ith a logic different than that which the system imposes on us." 

For the transmissions in Solano, the content of programming 
was decided in plenary sessions for the broadcast. The first trans- 
mission included a documentary about water pollution caused by 
factories in La Florida, Solano, the same neighborhood where TV-pi- 
quetero has transmitted. Piqueteros from MUP-20 participated in the 
script writing, production, and filming and a group went with Grupo 
Alavio to film and produce the piece. Neighbors reported that a meat 
packing plant and other factories were dumping unprocessed chemi- 
cals and blood into the stream that runs through La Florida. Nearly 
every time it rains, the putrid, toxic water floods the community's 
homes. Children and adults have chronic respiratory problems and 
skin sores from the polluted water. While no media has ever reported 
on flooding in La Florida, many of the neighbors expressed anguish 
at seeing the documentary piece on water pollution in their neighbor- 
hood. 

Many of Argentina's social conflicts have been ignored by al- 
ternative media collectives, who are fascinated with the spectacular, 
making it difficult for them to cover and reflect on daily conflicts. 
One of the debates after December 19 and 20. 2001 was the necessity 
for movements to have their own media. However, there have been 
many groups that have launched media projects, each group appro- 
priating technologies and media language to reflect the thinking of 
its group and affinity. While there is an obvious challenge to over- 
come fragmentation among movements, there is also an opportunity 
to construct new media projects and rethink alternative media's inte- 
gration into social movements, direct action, and audience participa- 
tion. 

The second transmission included pre-edited news pieces about 
the Quilmes blockade, which began by appropriating a Quilmes beer 
television commercial the most expensive Argentine advertise- 
ment produced in years to parody corporate representations of 
elite culture with footage of piqueteros blocking the beer factor). 
Other pieces included: the struggle for the freedom of political pris- 
oners. Bolivia after the insurrection, resistance in Iraq, and a block- 
ade in front of supermarkets. 

Participation ol the audience and media makers in the I v- 

piquetera experience has been one of its strongest components 
Participants not only learn how to use technologies and audiovisual 
language but also form analysis ol political and social conflicts (inte- 
grating local, national, .md international issues) 

I he most recent IV broadcast was during MlP-20's end o\ 

the year and anniversary street festival on December 27, 2003 I he 
festival included programming, table discussions of the second an- 
niversary ol December 20. 2001, food, and live music Into the night. 



bands continued to perform with piqueteros filming the concert. 
As the festival was winding down, two police trucks drove into the 
corner where the audience was dancing. Police got out of their trucks 
and tried to provoke a violent confrontation. Participants immediate- 
ly mobilized to prevent the police from creating a conflict — using 
sticks and rocks to drive the police out. The need for self-defense is 
ever present as with the road blockade. 

Local neighborhood Peronist political practices (controlling the 
neighborhood through corruption, controlling families through cli- 
entalism, and repressing youths with drugs and police violence) has 
been re-intensified in Solano. Neighbors working with MUP-20 have 
been targeted in particular due to MUP-20's community work. Gru- 
po Alavio and MUP-20 are launching a counter-cultural campaign 
(music, theatre, film projections, and TV-piquetera transmissions) in 
the neighborhood to fight this repression and continue working w ith 
the community. Grupo Alavio began video and press workshops w ith 
unemployed worker activists participating in organizations in the re- 
gion. The workshops are to be dedicated to women struggles and will 
produce a video and pamphlet about women activists. 

TV-piquetera's objective is to transmit in different neighbor- 
hoods with the intention of ultimately building a network of commu- 
nity television and or radio stations that can function autonomously 
under a larger umbrella of collaboration and mutual support. 

TV-piquetera is an attempt to use a media such as telev ision and 
transform it into a tool for political organizing and liberation. Fun- 
damental to the experience is to use media activism not as symbolic 
resistance but to directly confront the state, boss, and politicians. The 
transmission alone is only a symbolic act. but it correlates to the ac- 
tions of struggle to reach social revolution. 

For more information, visit wvvvv.revolutionvideo.org alavio. 



Sleater - Kinney, Zillah Eisenstein. Inga Muscio, Mr. Lif. Elaine Brown. ♦ 
— _. _ _ music, activism, fiction, food, non-fiction, etc. 



nit or 

m o 9 o z i n e 



http://www.altarmagazine.com/ 



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Statement: 
Altar Magazine believes that 
problems are not monolithic, 
and neither are solutions. It is 
imperative to have socially 
progressive women and men 
fighting on all fronts of the 
movement whether that is 
anti-racist work, feminism, anti- 
heterosexism, economic justice 
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Word on the Streets 

street papers amplify the voices of the voiceless 




Israel Bayer 
Stephen Voss 



In a time when media consolidation has taken 
over the market, more than 47 homeless 
newspapers in the United States and Canada 
have taken a more grassroots approach. 

Between 1989 and 1992, several news- 
papers grew out of a groundswell of home- 
lessness, seizing their voices and creating 
their own media outlets. Today this has be- 
come a movement for social change. 

Street Sheet in San Francisco, Street 
News in New York, Spare Change in Boston. 
Street Wise in Chicago, Journal 'itiner aire in 
Montreal, and across the Atlantic in London, 
The Big Issue, were all unveiled in the late 
"80s and early '90s, seizing a hard-earned 
voice of people on the streets. 

"The age old practice of hawking news- 
papers has been a tradition for as long as there 
has been a free press," says Bryan Pollard, 
the former managing editor of Street Roots, 
Portland, Oregon's homeless newspaper. 
"Street newspapers are a true movement of 
the people, by the people, and for the people. 
They consist of concerned people working 
together to get the truth and information to 
the community." 

Today there are nearly 90 papers 
worldwide in 27 countries, all with different 
voices. They range from small circulation 
semi-monthly publications to popular weekly 
newspapers that offer job training and social 
service delivery. 

"The street paper movement, with its 
direct voice of the poor, immediate benefits 
to homeless people, and possibilities for long 
term change, is the past decade's most pro- 
found innovation in poor people's organiz- 
ing," said Timothy Harris, founder of Real 
Change and President of the North American 
Street Newspaper Association (NASNA). 

In 1996, street newspapers across the 
U.S. and Canada came together to explore 
the possibilities of creating a network of 
papers. The following year the North Ameri- 
can Street Newspaper Association became a 
reality when 37 papers agreed on a mission, 
goals, and other strategies to build unity in 
the movement. After only a handful of papers 
survived seven hard fought years, dozens of 
papers were spreading like a wildfire across 
the country. 

"NASNA is finding that the existing 
street newspapers are growing in terms of 
stability, staffing, circulation, advertising. 



and its acceptance and influence in their re- 
spective communities," said Michael Stoops, 
a NASNA board member with the National 
Coalition for the Homeless. 

"Street newspapers serve to educate 
the general community about poverty and 
homelessness issues," Stoops continued, 
"while bringing a much needed alternative 
for people who find themselves on the streets 
with no employment." 

At the heart of most street papers are their 
vendor programs. Vendors buy the paper for a 
percentage of the costs of printing and sell the 
paper for a dollar out in the community. 

"Not everybody can sell street news- 
papers; it's a somewhat difficult thing to 
do," said Bear, a homeless vendor for Street 
Roots. "It's work," Bears says with a swag- 
ger. "I make as much money doing this as I 
would make a job paying minimum wage." 

In San Francisco, Street Sheet takes a 
different approach with its vendor program. 
The paper is one of the only papers in the 
country to not charge vendors a percentage 
for the paper they sell. "I would feel pretty 
crappy charging someone on the streets 15 
bucks for 100 papers, when they are not 
making a livable wage." said Chance Martin. 
editor of the Bay paper. "We are a dignified 
alternative to panhandling." 

Other newspapers are finding it harder 
to survive working on shoestring, budgets. 
What's Up magazine in St. Louis is published 
every other month and focuses mostly on art 
and culture. "St. Louis is [a] bit more conser- 
vative; we couldn't just start throwing bricks 
at the system and expect to see results," says 
Jay Swoboda, founder and editor of the paper. 
"That's why we've tried to raise awareness 
through the arts." 

Dan Newth, production manager, re- 
porter, and a homeless vendor with Street 
Roots says Street Roots has brought meaning 
back into his life. "As a homeless vendor I talk 
to people of all classes while selling the news- 
paper and work to dispel some of the myths 
about homelessness," said Newth. "The ability 
to communicate to people and the feedback I 
get with my writing is validation for me." 

Many street newspapers claim they have 
had to fight to gain respect among the home- 
less populations of their respected cities, the 
community itself, and the media elite. Street 
Roots is no different. 

continued next page 



N» 



In l l 'SS. Street Roots took over for the 
former homeless newspaper, the Burns ide 
Cadillac, with Bve homeless vendors, three 
volunteer staff members, and a press run of 
2,000 papers monthly. Today, the "homeless 
ray." as some have called it, is a bimonthly 
publication w ith a press run of 18,000 papers, 
more than 20 volunteers, 50 vendors, and 
three paid staff members. 

People experiencing homelessness are 
involved in all aspects of the organization, 
from the production of the paper, to the 
writing and selling of the newspaper. Street 
Roots, like main homeless newspapers 
throughout the country, take their lead from 
the homeless population. 

The majority of seats on the Street Roots 
Board of Directors are either vendors who are 
experiencing homelessness or have experi- 



enced homelessness in the past. 

"Street Roots taught me how to write." 
says Newth. "I flunked English in high 
school; now I'm writing articles and grow- 
ing into an activist. It's enabled me to walk 
within my beliefs. This is one of the few 
opportunities a homeless person has for self- 
actualization in Portland. 

Vendors have created their own system 
at Street Roots, working on a seniority model 
that allows senior vendors to sign up on "turf 
from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.. after which 
time junior vendors can sign up as well. The 
vendors at Street Roots have full capacity to 
organize themselves and the vendor program 
to best fit the entire group. Vendor badge 
numbers three and 13 are retired at Street 
Roots, in honor of two vendors who died 
while on the streets, one from a drug-over- 



dose and the other from natural causes. 

"I think it's one of the only venues and 
publications that has reality and truth in it 
from our perspective." said Bear. "It's our 
paper!" 

The future of the street newspaper 
movement is wide-open. Every newspaper 
is dealing with its own set of circumstances. 
But one thing is for sure: the movement to- 
w ards dignity and a free press has arrived on 
the streets of North America and around the 
world. 

For more information on street papers, visit 
www.nasna.org. The author works for Street 
Roots (www.streetroots.org). 



REVIEWS PLEXIFILMS 




E 

5 
E 



CN 



Decasia: The State Of Decay 

A Film By Bill Morrison 

Music Composed by Michael Gordon 

www.plexifilm.com 

Let's just get this on the 
table first — I love this 
kind of thing, but I also 
recognize that this type of 
film is not for everyone. If 
you are not a fan of "plot- 
less," "arty" kinds of films 
that do not fall into the 
narrative or documentary 
category of film making, 
then this film is not for 
you. On the other hand 
if you are a fan of avant- 
garde film making, if you 

find beauty in the texture of film stock and the flicker of 
the projector, or if you like the types of film experiments 
that Brakhage did so well — like his 'mothlight' or his 
hand painted films, then this is a film you should see. 

Decasia was created entirely out of found footage. 
The film is beautifully edited from old footage that has 
been severely damaged by time and most likely by other 
elements as well. I have seen first hand what mold, 
dampness, and heat can do to film stock, and assume 
these other elements had a role in the deterioration of 
the material used in this film. The degeneration of the 
black and white film stock and emulsion creates haunt- 
ingly beautiful images Some solarized, some distorted, 
and some almost completely obscured by the decay. 

The haunting feeling of the found footage in this 
state is heightened by the musical score composed by 
Michael Gordon His dissonant orchestral score helps 
to shape the tone of the film. With all of these elements 
working together the film creates a hallucinatory experi- 
ence The footage of eras gone by has the sense of a 
fading memory, and a disconnect with our own human 
past There is a feeling of both tnumph and futility with 
images like a boxer jabbing at an amorphous blob, ba- 
bies being born in solanzed negative, whirling dervishes, 
obscured city streets, and anonymous faces that stare 
blankly into the camera 

In an age where near perfect copies can be made 
by encoded digital bits without degeneration from copy 
to copy this film is very refreshing There is a beauty to 
the ravages of time that can get lost with the clean, ensp 
aesthetic of digital technology. With this DVD edition of 




Decasia you can now see the beauty of this decay in a for- 
mat comprised of digitally encoded bits. It is worth it, and I 
love that more of this type of work is being made available 
on DVD. That said, this kind of work stili begs to be seen 
projected in its original form. A DVD no matter how well 
produced will never have the same warmth in the quality 
of light as film stock does being projected onto a screen. 
-Brandon Bauer 



Space is the Place 

Sun Ra and his Intergalactic Arkestra 
Directed by John Coney, 1974 
Re-released by Plexifilm, 2003 
www.plexifilm.com 

There has never been 
another musician quite 
like Sun Ra. He was truly 
a musical maelstrom. 
Playing for more than fifty 
years, and releasing over 
100 albums he continues 
post-mortem to be one of 
the most admired and in- 
fluential jazz musicians in 
history He experimented 
with electronic instru- 
ments, African chanting 
and unusual percussion 
instruments. In addition to his unusual musical palate. 
Ra incorporated into his repertoire glittery space-age 
costumes, Egyptology, astrology, an other-worldly 
mythology (he said he was from Saturn), and a black 
liberation philosophy that involved saving the black race 
by transporting them to space 

And now his 1974 cult classic feature length movie 
"Space is the Place", a melding of 70's blaxploitation, 
sci-fi. psychedelia and Ra's own liberation philosophy, 
has been re-issued thirty years later from the depths of 
obscunty 

The basic storyline is as follows: Ra, wanting to 
liberate the black race, comes down to earth from years 
of space travel in his music-fueled spaceship He has 
found a suitable planet for the black race to inhabit, 
free of racism and oppression. Landing in Oakland, 
California in 1972, he tnes to convince disenfranchised 
blacks to come with him into outer space All the while 
his nemesis, the Overseer, a pimp-like figure profiting 
from the exploitation of the black race, is trying to outdo 



/f~*£6 



him for control. They vie in an extra-dimensional card 
game with cards drawn by each of them to determine 
how the events in the movie will proceed and use an 
abacus to keep score. Ra is also being trailed by the FBI 
and NASA, both of whom wish to find the secrets of his 
black space program. He is ultimately forced to return to 
space, able to save only a few souls, only moments be- 
fore the earth explodes (we're not really sure, however, 
why this happens). 

I must say, a cinematic masterpiece it is not There 
are numerous holes in the plot, the acting is pretty bad, 
and the movie as a whole clumsily lumbers along, more 
collage-like than narrative. Being collage-like is not 
necessarily a problem, but it seems to want to be a 
narrative and falls a bit flat in that regard. Whoever was 
doing continuity must have been completely stoned as 
things often don't match up from shot to shot. Some of 
the scenes are really hokey and out of place, like when a 
woman's pastie flies out of her bra. supposedly from the 
intensity of Ra's piano playing as he pounds away on a 
smoking piano in a nightclub, or the random menage a 
trois at the hospital between two nurses and the Over- 
seer. In another scene that I found puzzling Ra gets a bit 
heavy handed on some black youth. He basically says 
that if they don't come with him into space he'll "chain 
them up and make them go. just like the slave traders * 
I don't get that one liberation through enslavement 7 ? 
The film also has a large dose of sexism, which could 
be dismissed as merely a sign of the times, but was dis- 
appointing nonetheless Basically, every woman in the 
entire film is a boy toy, overly sexually eager and hanging 
on the men, ready to actualize male fantasy. 

Don't get me wrong though, in spite of its shortcom- 
ings the film is entertaining in many ways, and without a 
doubt bizarre The b-movie style special effects are clas- 
sic. The live Arkestra performances are great And I was 
tickled when the NASA thugs try to torture Ra by making 
him listen to Yankee Doodle as they interrogate him on 
how he converts music to energy. Also to its credit, the 
film does attempt to address many of the social problems 
affecting the black community, suggesting a spiritual 
awakening as part of the solution, as well as other, more 
tangible solutions 

As someone who loves Sun Ra's music in its eccen- 
tricity, as well as its sociopolitical undertones. I came to 
the movie with rather high expectations. The film wasn't 
as deep, enlightening or wise as I had hoped it would 
be. nor as engaging visually or conceptually, but it was 
amusing to watch and a must-see for Sun Ra fans 
-j powers 





% 



/'■ 



h\ 



The Fixer 

brings outsiders 



to get the truth ©IT 
about what's really happening in Iraq 



Driving on this road feels suicidal. Less than 24 hours ago. two 
French guys were capped along this section ofpavemenl wesl 
of Baghdad. Although we are not OGAs — the often-targeted spooks 
from Other Government Agencies — or. like the deceased, high-paid 
contractors, there is no way to predict today's target of the Iraqi 
insurgents who stalk the highways between Fallujah and Ramadi. 
My palms are sweaty and I can't understand how the dapper 27- 
year-old riding in the passenger seat of the mini-van can be singing 
and snapping his fingers to Arabic pop music so joyfully amidst this 
danger. 

But the passenger, named Mahr, is used to this stress. He is 
a fixer — someone whose job it is to arrange, or fix. interviews 
important to a visiting journalist's story. Arriving in Ramadi, or 
the "wild, wild West" as one of my colleagues calls it, Mahr gets 
to work. Jumping from the vehicle, he races into a large, beautiful h 
tiled mosque adjacent to a busy marketplace in the town's center. 
We're seeking out a prominent sheikh who can give us some insight 
into abuses dealt out by the Army's 82nd Airborne, currently 
operating in this area of central Iraq. A long five minutes passes and 
Mahr emerges from the mosque's courtyard. Smiling, he re-enters 
the van w ith directions to the sheikh's home nearby. 

Mahr's work comes with enormous emotional pressure. By 
escorting reporters through Iraq's cavalcade of disaster, he hopes they 
w ill truthfully portray events and help bring justice to the Iraqi people. 
Every day. he witnesses the death, destruction, and humiliation 
cruelly administered by the US-led occupation. Daily, he puts himself 
as close as possible to the pain of the Iraqi people in order for their 
story to be told. Thus, he absorbs hundreds, thousands of horrific tales 
and shoulders the collective misery of all those he meets. 

A few days after our trip to Ramadi, Mahr and I are relaxing 
at Saj al-Riff. a trendy pizza joint located in a Christian section 

words and photos Rob Eshelman 



of Baghdad's Karada neighborhood. For three weeks, we've been 
working together. We've spent our time in towns openly rebelling 
against the Americans: Samarra. small villages around Tikrit, the 
Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad, and the "wild, wild west." 
The resistance, we've found, is pretty active. So, too, is the American 
counter-insurgency. We've witnessed an intense collective punishment 
of the people of the so-called "Sunni Triangle" and thus are in need 
of some down time to reflect and recharge our batteries. Pizza, a few 
beers, and a couple of mornings of sleeping in are the only things on 
our schedule. 

At Saj al-Riff, we begin our decompression. Here, nicely suited 
men on their lunch breaks mingle with young couples laughing, 
talking, and playfully flirting with one another. Protruding from the 
wood-panelled walls of the restaurant, small television screens play 
music videos. The iconic images, along with the sounds of the nearby 
conversations, create an oasis-like environment. For a moment, it's 
easy to forget we're inside a devolving metropolis of six million and 
a country seething under a foreign military presence. In this sublime 
environment, I take the opportunity to learn a little about Mahr. 

After the March 2003 bombing subsided, work was scarce and 
times were desperate in Baghdad. Service sector employment, such as 
driving a cab or selling products on the street, was out of the question. 
Crime soared — physical attacks and car-jackings were a regularity 
after sundown. Mahr, though, had an important asset — he could 
speak English. 

The heavily fortified Palestine and Sheraton hotels are ground 
zero for the international press corps. Mahr began to spend much of 
his time there. By schmoozing a Marine who was regularly posted 
on the hotel's perimeter, he was able to access the Fourth Estate and 
canvass those inside for work. After a few weeks of networking, he 
landed his first gig with an Italian documentary film crew. 

continued next page 



rss 



Meager job opportunities and possessing the essential translation 

skills weren't the onl) reasons lie became a fixer. Mahr grew up in 
Baghdad's Adhanma neighborhood - home to many Baathist 
apparatchiks during the Saddam years and now an epicenter of 
fierce opposition to the American-led invasion. For the bulky ex- 
weighthfter. the people of Iraq are all part of his extended family. An 
attack on them is an attack on him. Witnessing attacks by US forces in 
his neighborhood triggered a need to do something. He felt he could 
not stand by and watch his family be harmed by a brutal foreign force. 
He had to fight the occupation — but in his own way. "I am part of the 
resistance.'' he says. His charming personality, personal connections, 
and Adhamiya pedigree enable him to fix interviews with prominent 
Iraqis and to enter the homes of victims who might not otherwise be 
willing to speak openly with international journalists. 

Showing the nature of the American military occupation doesn't 
just involve portraying Iraqis as victims, he says. It always requires 
show ing their strength. "When you go and see someone whose house 
has been demolished, you can see that they are angry. But you will 
also sec them smile. This shows how strong the Iraqis are. This makes 
me proud of my people." 

Mahr doesn't work lor just anyone. He is acutely aware of the 
politics of corporate news agencies. Offered a job two weeks ago by a 
large media company he declined. He says he doesn't like to lie and 
news agencies like Fox and CNN are lying. Or, to a lesser degree, 
conservative editors often reel in reporters willing to follow a good 
lead. "I can't tell them the truth. They are like the soldiers. They don't 
have the right to say what they want." 

Shunning steady work and good pay. he continues to help 
hard-nosed independent journalists and filmmakers. "I know these 
journalists are small — not widely published. They try to tell the truth, 
though. I want everyone to know what's happening to my country." 

Mahr's contempt is not reserved just for the international 
press corps. He holds many of the Non-Government Organizations 



currently working in Iraq in equally low regard. Accusing most of 
doing nothing but collecting paj checks and partying at their hotels. 
Mahr's litmus test for an NGOer's credibility is simple: are they out 
in the street helping Iraqis'' Mahr says most aren't and so he doesn't 
work w ith them either. 

The subject of our conversation turns to the future. Will the 
Americans leave? What about the Shia protests demanding direct 
elections '.' Mahr isn't optimistic about the immediate path ahead. 
"In a forest fire, the live tree will burn with the dead tree." he says. 
Ultimately, though, he believes the pride and strength of Iraqis will 
prevail. He provides a poetic analogy: "A pregnant woman gi\ing 
birth will cry. But when she sees her child — she will forget the pain. 
Iraq is like this baby. We see Iraq and the Iraqi people and it puts a 
smile on our face." 

Families who've lost lo\ed ones or have had homes or property 
destroyed weigh heavily on Mahr's conscience. The constant exposure 
to the destruction of Iraq is clearly getting to him. I ask him where he 
would like to see himself in the future. He laughs cynically and says, 
"III want a future. I must leave this country." Not an easy decision for 
a man who is immensely dedicated to making Iraq a free and thru ing 
society. Also, this is a dream given that he has no passport and Iraq has 
no government to issue these documents. 

We've barely touched our food and the need for beers has 
hit us like a freight tram. Mahr lights a cigarette and lets the small 
yellow-orange flame of the ignited match slowly bum. "This is how 
the Americans treat my country." Seeing this and hearing his tales. 
it's difficult not to see Mahr as the live tree he's just described being 
burned in the thick, dead forest of conflict. After three weeks. I'm 
already mentally drained. However, I get to leave. Despite Mahr's 
wish to live in exile, away from the country he loves so deeply, he has 
no choice. He will stay and continue his work amidst the destruction. 
dreaming of a better day somewhere else, it 




HilMliltiillliM* 




Pie Any Means Necessary: 

The Biotic Baking Brigade Cookbook 
edited by Agent Apple 

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A must read for anyone with a taste for 

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"The BBB is a network ol political 

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Beat the Heat: how to Handle 

Encounters with Law Enforcement 
Katya Komisaruk 

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'This book will help keep more ol our 

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instead ol sitting in cages watching the 

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use it. stay free.' 

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At War with Asia 
Noam Chomsky 

1902593-89-8 [ $18.95 TP | aoopp 

In 1970, Chomsky urged Amencans to 

avoid the dangers of a war with Asia. 

Drawing on his visit to Vietnam and exten 

sive reading, he discusses the historical. 

political, and economic reasons behind 

our involvement in an Asian land war. 

A crucial book for anyone seeking to 

understand US foreign policy then and 

now 




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Animal Ingredient A to Z, 

3rd Edition 

E.G. Smith Collective 

1902593790 \ $9.95 TP \ 99k 
The definitive resource to food mgredi 
ents, with more than 2.000 listings as 
well as supplementary chapters on vegan 
nutrition, books, clothing, beer and wine. 
With this new and updated edition in 
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Every year in June, hundreds of the most passionate people from the world of independent 
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CM 
CO 



family, leisure, and sanity are traded for the memory of an 8-hour day 



Kari Lydersen Jim West 



Dennis Hopkins, a 34-year-old father of three in Chicago, works 70 
hours a week as a cook and home care attendant. He gets up at 4:30 
a.m. to be at work cooking for the Board of Education by 6 a.m. 
At 2:30 p.m. he heads off to work six more hours taking care of a 
homebound patient. 

"I don't think anyone can make a living off working 40 hours 
a week anymore," he said. "Maybe 10 or 20 years ago, but not now. 
Unless you become an electrical engineer or a doctor, but even doctors 
are usually working 60 hours a week and they're so stressed out they 
die even earlier than everyone else!" 

For decades, the 40-hour workweek has not been a reality for 
many people across the income scale. Low-income people regularly 
put in more than 40 hours, often doing as much overtime as possible 
at hourly jobs to augment low wages, or even working a total of 60 or 
70 hours a week at several jobs. 

Noe, a Mexican immigrant living in Omaha, Neb., has regularly 
worked up to 17 hours a day at two jobs (though he is currently only 
working one job for 45 hours a week). In the past he worked at a 
lumber processing company from about 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Afterward he 
cleaned offices from 5 p.m. to 1 :30 a.m. 

Noe, who didn't want his last name used, said, "I only slept three 
or four hours a night for three years. I was very tired, physically and 
mentally." 

Higher-income professionals like doctors, lawyers, and engi- 
neers are also expected to work more than 40 hours a week for their 
salaries. Many jobs, ranging from nursing to assembly-line factory 
work, require mandatory overtime, meaning the worker can be fired 
for refusing to work 50- or 60-hour weeks. 

So how could it possibly get worse? If the Bush administration 
has its way, not only will people be working more than 40 hours a 
week, but many won't get paid for this extra work. Changes in the way 
the Department of Labor implements the Fair Labor Standards Act 
and legislation gutting overtime pay protections are currently on the 
table. The changes in the FLSA are expected to take effect in March. 
(A I press time, this decision is yet to be known — Ed.) The legislation 
has so far not passed Congress. Essentially, these measures are a huge 
gift to industry since forcing people to work more hours for the same 
amount of pay equates to pay cuts and employer profits. 

The Rise and Fall of the 40-Hour Workweek 

When President Franklin Roosevelt instituted the 40-hour workweek, 
he based it on the premise that people shouldn't be worked to the bone, 
but that they should have time for their families and leisure. Passed in 
1938, the FLSA, which also banned child labor and set the minimum 
wage at 25 cents a week, set the maximum work week at 44 hours 
and mandated that if workers toiled more than 40 hours a week, they 
would be paid double for those hours. 



At the time labor abuses were rampant. The Labor Department's 
Children's Bureau found that out of a cross section of 449 children, 
nearly a fourth were working 60 hours or more per week at median 
wages of slightly over $4 a week. In the South, it was normal for 
women to work 10-hour days in canneries for $4.50 a week. 

The FLSA and labor activism of the era led to some improvements 
in worker safety and health, including the reduction of hours worked. 
The idea behind overtime pay was that this would prevent employers 
from demanding extensive overtime of their employees, and, when 
they did, the employees would be rewarded for their sacrifices. 

Peter Rachleff. labor historian, explained that the FLSA was not 
created so workers could earn more money. "It was to force employers 
to hire more workers and create more jobs," he said. 

Over the course of the century, however, the trend of working 
more, both for low-income people just trying to scrape by and upper- 
income people trying to keep up in the rat race, has accelerated. The 
Economic Policy Institute says that, on average, middle-income couples 
with kids have added an average of 20 weeks of work over the last 30 
years. Americans work an average of nine weeks a year more than Euro- 
peans, and the average work year grew by 184 hours during the 1990s, 
according to Kevin Phillips, author of Wealth and Democracy. 

"In the 1970s and '80s the Japanese were known as the world's 
workaholics," Rachleff said. "But Americans have far surpassed the 
Japanese without much recognition. You sec many repercussions 
— the growth of fast food, the growth of childcare. By the time every- 
thing is added and subtracted, we're no farther ahead because of the 
cost of maintaining this lifestyle." 

The Push to Gut Overtime Pay 

The Department of Labor's proposed changes will mean millions of 
workers who were previously paid by the hour and eligible for over- 
time pay will be reclassified as "managers" or other high level posi- 
tions exempt from overtime pay — with no pay increase to go along 
with their new title. 

The changes were proposed in March 2003 as a "notice of rule- 
making." The DOL said it was reviewing "outdated" standards at the 
behest of industry groups. The changes did not have to pass through 
Congress. 

Under the rule changes, a worker making $10 an hour in charge 
of the poultry department at a supermarket who gets "promoted" to 
manager can be required to work 50 hours or more a week with no 
overtime pay. 

Under the changes, a similar modification is likely to happen to 
nurses, technicians, engineers, or others who are judged to be "profes- 
sionals" because of higher education or specialized training will not be 
eligible for overtime pay. This will have a particular effect on veterans 
who received medical, technical, or other training in the military. 

continued next page 



CO 

CO 



Nicholas Clark, general counsel for the United Food and Com- 
mercial Workers union, said. "Someone who received some medical 
training in the nulitan, would be considered the same as a doctor as far 
as not getting overtime." 

The changes will also allow an employer to pay for overtime in 
future time off (comp lime) instead of cash. The employer can gener- 
ally determine w hen the worker gets this comp time, enabling them to 
award it at a slow business lime w hen the worker isn't needed anyway. 
The comp time could even be given up to a year after the overtime 
worked, essentially delaying any kind of pay for overtime and causing 
the worker to lose this benefit if the company goes out of business. 
The comp time pro\ isions also mean employers will require other 
workers to pick up the slack for a worker who is taking comp time. 

(lark noted that the comp for overtime bills essentially amount 
to a no-interest loan for employers, since the employer is able to hold 
oil on paying workers at all for up to a year, giving them prolonged 
access to the funds they should have paid out. If they borrowed the 
same amount from a bank, they would be charged an interest rate. 

"Taking away overtime pay is just a way to help employers," 
Laura Kai, spokesperson for the Chicago branch of the community 
organization ACORN, said. "For masses of people it's really going to 
cause a problem. A lot of workers really rely on overtime pay to make 
ends meet." 

Currently about 71 million U.S. workers are eligible for over- 
time. The administration says 3.3 million workers will be affected by 
the changes, but experts say that at least 8 million workers will be 
affected. 

" I he administration's numbers are just wrong," Clark said. 

The changes will also affect high-wage earners, since they man- 
date that people earning over S65,000 a year are not eligible for over- 



time. 

And there are absolutely no restrictions on the total number of 
hours someone can work. 

"The only restriction is how many hours you can take before you 
quit," Clark said. "You're off the clock and you work whatever thej 
tell you to." 

Clark said if the changes go through, litigation will probably 
ensue. 

"They're arguing that they're just interpreting the FLSA differ- 
ently, so it didn't have to go through Congress.'' he said. "We're argu- 
ing that they're actually changing it." 

Meanwhile proposed House and Senate legislation, the Family 
Time and Workplace Flexibility Act in the Senate and the Family Time 
flexibility Act in the House, could also gut overtime pay for workers 
by institutionalizing the comp time provisions. Congress has yet to 
take action on the bills; it is expected that if a Democrat is elected in 
November they won't see the light of day. 

"There was such an uproar about them that the) haven't moved."' 
Kai said. 

With the same kind of doublespeak that characterized the Clear 
Skies. No Child Left Behind, and Healths Forests initiatives, the 
administration tried to sell the bills as measures to give people more 
time off with their families when, in reality, they mean people will be 
earning less money to support their families. 

Clearlv. the Bush administration's attacks on overtime pav and 
the already-bedraggled concept of the 40-hour week are just one more 
way of advancing the trend in which corporate employers are able to 
treat people as dispensable tools for their own profit, w ithout respect 
for the way more work and less pay will affect people's families, 
health, and mental well-being. "fr 



REVIEW WAR OF INDEPENDENTS 




Books Lie 

Hall of Fame of Fire 

(plus singles and b-sides). 

Level Plane Records 

www.level-plane.com 

I've got a pre-requisite for 
music to be featured on my 
day-to-day soundtrack at the 
Clamor HQ. I work long hours (often by myself), so 
whatever I'm listening to has to be able to move my 
ass and encourage singing along at the top of my lungs. 
Unfortunately for hardcore and a lot of newer punk, this 
leaves me mostly listening to hip hop and guilty pop 
pleasures Rarely does a hardcore CD come across my 
desk that moves me to either disgust or enthusiasm - I 
consider that an indictment for those of you who might 
take such a statement personally. Books Lie are the rare 
exception They combine raw energy, humor, and an 
incisive, politically charged tongue to create something 
that is intellectually stimulating and butt-shakingly 
dance-able. Every time I put the CD on, I'm immediately 
transported to a tiny damp room where a hundred kids 
hop in unison to the anthems cranked out by the Books 
Lie contingent with fists in the air This is beauty. 
■Jason Kucsma 

Chromelodeon 
in the year 20XX 
www chromelodeon com 

The wack-ass cover art for 
this CD doesn't betray the 
genius of Chromelodeon's 
debut CD (unclear is this 
the debut?) I almost passed 
it off as a half-assed attempt to endear the CD to the hip 




hop and graf culture with its cartoonish caricature raising 
his fist in the air over a pile of industrial rubbish. Truth 
is, this is pure gold. Chromelodeon is an instrumental 
powerhouse (with some minimal vocals) that creates 
epic tracks out from rock and new wave roots - creating 
something that sounds like Godspeed You! Black 
mperor facing Mr. Bungle in a Nintendo Gameboy 
songwriting competition. This is truly an example of a 
book that should not be judge by its cover. I consider 
myself schooled. 
-Jason Kucsma 

Shuttlecock 

Machine-Extended 

Iron Compass Records, 2002 

www.ironcompassrecords.com 

Shuttlecock has been around 
for about five years, rising out 
of the ashes of Omaha. They 
play quirky, art-damaged 
post-punk that you could call prog-rock or math rock, 
if that makes you happy. The songs are based around 
staccato riffs, with plenty of tempo changes and quiet 
parts, and the odd electronic effect. The vocals are a bit 
geeky, but geeky-menacing like Devo was. and the lyncs 
are cryptic and sparse The quieter songs reminded me 
of fIREHOSE. but maybe that's just because both bands 
iave amazing drummers and vocalists with Midwest 
wangs. The band is capable of genuine beauty, but the 
overall effect of Machine-Extended is a feeling of unease 
and anxiety due partially to the edgy riffs that will never 
allow you to fall into a groove, and partially due to the 
yrics, which make references to memory, technology, 
nathematics, and the concept of time Shuttlecock are 
ntellectual without being pretentious, and listening to 
this record gave me the same feeling of satisfaction as 





looking at an abstract painting; it seemed to say a lot 
without saying anything directly, and I knew that I liked 
it even if I didn't totally understand it. Shuttlecock make 
guitar-driven music sound relevant and contemporary, 
which is no small feat in this day and age. 
-Patrick Taylor 

The Opus 

Breathing Lessons 
Mush Records. 2004 
www.dirtyloop.com 

Mr Echoes and The Isi 
of Weight make up The fe 
Opus- an impressive duo, no 
doubt This is instrumental 
hip-hop at its best. As usual for most hip-hoppers, vocal 
samples are thrown down here and there and from time 
to time. The duo's programming skills are quite unique, 
better than anyone in the mainstream currently. This is 
true underground hip-hop, without the vocals, although 
Lord 360 appeared on vocals bnefly on one of the 
tracks His rhymes are very poetic and dark The music 
is often dnvmg. almost drum n' bass-like but without 
much speed This is more mid-paced hip-hop music 
The duo has worked with many notable artists in the 
electronic scene including Meat Beat Manifesto This 
duo is capable of doing any styles of electronic music 
because they are that good as producers With proper 
management, The Opus could go as far as becoming the 
next Neptunes duo, or maybe even bigger and better 
- Adhab Al-Farhan 



Wanna wnte reviews for Clamor 1 ' Visit us online at: 
www clamormagazine org/freestulf html' 



North America 

While the average workweek in the United States 
hovers around a 40-hour mark, proposed changes to 
overtime rules may strike a blow for millions of 
workers' right to fair compensation (see related article). 

People often think of sweatshops as only being in 
Third World countries, but there are countless undocu- 
mented workers laboring long hours in sweatshops in 
the United States. In Los Angeles, there are 4,500 
sweatshops; in New York City, there are 3,500. 

Ontario's government recently announced plans to roll 
back the 60-hour maximum workweek to the previous 
48. Critics of the 60-hour limit say workers may feel 
their job security threatened if they refuse to work 
extra hours. 



Western Europe 

The European Union's Working Time Directive mandates a 48-hour workweek. Recently, Britain has 
called for an opt-out, arguing that people should be able to work more if they wish. Britons work the 
longest hours in Westerm Europe: 43.6 hours on average, compared to 38.4 in Belgium, the country 
with the lowest average. The government in France has plans to dismantle their 35-hour week, which 
has been blamed for France's economic problems. Belgium, France, Ireland, and Portugal have all seen 
decreases in hours in recent years. 

In ( iermany, the maximum workweek is 48 hours and 17% of the country's production comes from 
illegal immigrants, many of them from Turkey, which has huge unemployment — one figure says only 
46% of working age in Turkey have jobs. 

Sweden has often been held up as a model for labor. Workers average 35.8 hours a week, and most 
belong to unions. There is only 4% unemployment. 




Middle East 

Middle Eastern countries often require workers put in long hours. 
In Kuwait, the workweek is 48 hours, but domestic servants — usually 
foreign workers excluded from labor laws — work more. 

In Jordan in the past few years American companies have set up a 
remarkable number of sweatshops in "Qualified Industrial Zones," 
employing over 40,000 workers in substandard conditions. The QIZ's 
are a result of the 1994 peace agreement with Israel, allowing for 
duty-free trade with the United States. Workers in these zones are 
often on the job 65 hours a week, making items for J.C. Penney, 
Wal-Mart, Target, and others. 



Eastern Europe 

In most countries, men are more likely to work long 
hours than women. Central and Eastern European 
countries, however, have the highest proportion of 
both men and women working excessively long hours, 
according to the International labour Organization. 
More than 75% of both sexes work 40 hours a week 
or more. In Russia, although the official workweek 
is 40 hours, it is rarely enforced. Many work 10- or 
12-hour days — and have been known to be paid in 
vodka at the height of the wage crisis in the late '90s. 





Central/South America 

Central and South America are rife with 
American corporate sweatshops. One report 
from a Guatemalan factory included workers 
being forced to work until 4 a.m. only to 
report back four hours later. In Honduras, 
Gap factory workers were reportedly forced 
to work overtime — and to take pregnancy 
tests and meet extremely high production goals 
for $4 a day. As these companies realize they 
can get cheaper labor in Asia, however, many 
are starting to relocate to the other side of 
the globe. 



Africa 

It is difficult to measure Africa's workweek 
because so much labor is agricultural. In South 
Africa, for example, the workweek is 45 hours, 
though most farmers live in poverty working 
12-hour days with no overtime pay. 

In Zimbabwe, the maximum legal workweek is 
54 hours, with one day off required. Zimbabwe 
has many unregulated workers from Malawi and 
Mozambique who are often subject to abusive 
working conditions. Recently, the Transport and 
General Workers Union in Zimbabwe called for a 
reduction of working hours for bus and truck 
drivers to reduce accidents. Most drivers, according 
to the union, were working 48 hours a week, and 
drivers were falling asleep at the wheel. 

Over one million children work in Egypt, often 
making hand-made knotted rugs for tourists and in 
textile factories. Many work 10-hour days; 73% 
of the children in textile factories work 12-hour days. 



Asia 

Asian workers, according to the International 
Labour Organization, log the most hours across 
the globe, the top six being Thailand, Malaysia, 
Hong Kong (China), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and 
South Korea. In India, the legal workweek is 
48 hours, but these rules are regularly not enforced, 
especially in the garment industry. Sweatshops are 
also a huge problem in China — producing for 
businesses like Nike, Disney, and especially Wal-Mart. 
Eighty percent of Wal-Mart's suppliers are in China. 
This sweatshop economy is prevalent all over Asia. 
Just last year, the Phillipines passed a law that 
children under 15 could not work more than 20 
hours a week. 

In Japan, workers take on average only 8 days of 
leave a year. Not shockingly, 10,000 Japanese a year 
die of karoshi — the Japanese word for "death by 
overwork. " 



/ 



Australia 

Although Australia pioneered the 40-hour workweek 
in the late 1880s, it is no longer such a worker's 
paradise. Only 2 in 5 actually work that today, 
with 1 in 5 working more than 50 hours a week. In 
1999, a study by the Australian Council of Trade 
Unions found that 1 in 4 workers took time off 
because of stress, making it the most common 
job-related illness. 




^Wkere i 










e world is the 40-hourwe/ek, 



Compiled by Madeleine Baran and Amanda Luker 

•/// infonitation is from daily newspaper sources unless othencise cited. 



-erf/ 









CO 
CO 




Workln' for 



At the Robert Scott Correctional Facility in Plymouth. Mich.. 
Kebby Warner waited almost five years for a job. During 
that time, her request for parole was turned down twice. The 
reason? She didn't have a job. 

Although there are 96 women on her unit, there are onl) 
15 jobs available. Once an inmate is placed on a job. she must 
work at least 90 days. If she is fired or quits before then, she is 
forced to stay in her cell for 30 days and risks being ticketed for 
"Disobeying a Direct Order" or being "( Hit of Place."" The hourly 
pay scale on her unit ranges from ""4c to S2.08. Those who work 
in food service cam even less: 17.5c to 32 5c an hour. Despite 
the lack of jobs and poor working conditions, the parole board 
holds unemployment against applicants. 

While the prison-industrial complex has attracted much 
criticism and protest in recent years, the lack of jobs and poor 
working conditions of women prisoners ha\ e > el to gamer much 
attention. Almost 100.000 women are now incarcerated in the 
United States, representing about ~ percent of all inmates — a 
42 percent increase since 1995. 

However, female prisoners are speaking out. arguing that 
gender-based economic inequality docs not stop at the prison 
gate. Indeed, incarcerated women have significantly less access 
to jobs than male prisoners When the) arc able to find work, it is 
often undesirable. They are often paid less, and not given neces- 
sary training. Their male counterparts have access to better jobs 
and better wages. 

At the Women's Correctional Center in Salem. Ore., inmate 
Barrilee Bannister said. "Most jobs are not available to women 
prisoners." Main women there said that if they work, the) are 
given jobs considered "feminine. " such as cooking, cleaning, 
clerking, or teaching. 

Until 1996. the Oregon prison offered its inmates the op- 
portunity to work in its corporate division. Inmates answered 
phone calls from people on the outside requesting business 
information. However, in 1996. the division was transferred to 
one of the male prisons. Iea\ mg women inmates with prison jobs 
that paid anywhere from ss to "ss4 a month. 

Oregon's male prisoners also do the same t>pes of work 
but. for the most part, men's prisons have more job choice The 
si. nc's Measure Seventeen mandates that all prisoners work; but 
male inmates have access to jobs which provide them with skills 
such as small engine repair, cabinetry, welding, furniture mak- 
ing, plumbing, and computer programming. The) also have the 
opportunit) to work for the clothing manufacturer Prison Blues, 
which, after deducting incarceration costs, victim restitution. 
famil) support, and taxes, pays about $1.30 an hour Women 
prisoners have been excluded from this opportunity. 

rwelve hundred miles away, at the women's section of the 
( olorado Women's Correctional facility in Canon City, Colo.. 

inm. lies fare little better. \ll prisoners are required to cither work 
01 attend school I nt i 1 I cbruar\ 2002, the dail) pa> rales ranged 
from o ; c to $2 53 for jobs such as kitchen, laundry, housekeep- 
ing, maintenance, library, secretary, and dl I) teacher Inmate 

Dawn \mos earned 63f for each of the four days she worked 

scrubbing and buffing the floors ["he prison lowered wages 
furthei m March 2002. 



the Man 



word Victoria Law 
illustration Amy DeVoogd 

The prices in Canon City's canteen do not reflect the women's income 
and purchasing power. One generic Tylenol costs 400; a box of tampons cost 
$3.60; the cheapest soap available is the equivalent of a day's earnings — 63c. 
There are no free items. 

Women at Canon City have virtually no job mobility. "If you want to 
leave a job for another one. it doesn't mean you can. It all depends on if your 
boss wants to let you go or not," Amos said. Thus, efficiency on one job can 
work against the ability to transfer to another. 

In some prisons, work environments resemble sweatshops. At the 
Dwight Correctional Center in Dwight, Illin., the prison pays female seam- 
stresses by the piece. According to "Elsie," an inmate there who wishes to 
remain anonymous, "Women rushing to make the cut-off day have injured 
themselves on sewing machines — sewing their fingers." The average 
monthly pay is $15 to $20 for 40 hours of work. 

In some prisons, there is even more risk of injury. At the Central Cali- 
fornia Women's Facility in Chowchilla, Yolanda, an inmate who had grown 
up in Los Angeles, was assigned to work on the prison's farm. Despite the 
fact that she had never been on a farm, she received no training for her job. 
Shortly after she began, her head was run over by a tractor by another inmate, 
who had also never received training. Although she survived, both women 
were disciplined. 

In addition to the low pay and hazardous working conditions, female fa- 
cilities seldom offer coveted jobs working for large corporations. (Although 
prison activists often complain about corporations' use of prison labor, these 
jobs tend to pay more than internal prison work.) The Central California 
Women's Facility is one of the few exceptions. Inmates there have the op- 
portunity to work assembly-line jobs putting together equipment for Joint 
Venture Electronics, an electronics manufacturer. After standard deductions 
for taxes, room and board, victim restitution, savings for release, and family 
support, these women earn about $ 1 . 1 5 to $2.30 an hour. Compared to a daily 
630, this paycheck is considered high. 

The lack of jobs has been used to keep women inmates from complain- 
ing about prison conditions. Shortly after filing a grievance against a male 
officer, Warner, the Michigan inmate, was assaulted by a co-worker at her 
job in the library. Although Warner was the victim of the assault, she was 
terminated from her position "for the safety and security of the institution." 
Similarly, Bannister, the Oregon inmate, said prison officials fired her from 
her position as visiting room photographer in 2002 after she reported a male 
officer's sexual harassment 

However, women prisoners have been fighting back in ways large and 
small. One anonymous inmate in Texas, a state which requires all inmates 
to work without pay, refused her assignment. "1 refuse to work," she said. "I 
have sat down and quit doing prison altogether." Oregon inmate Laura Maca 
not only quit her job as visiting room photographer, but also wrote an expose 
about a controversial prison policy. 

Despite these protests, the "industry" in women's prisons has garnered 
little or no attention, let alone outcry, from outside groups and organizations 
Those doing research and work around prison issues and labor issues need 
to examine the ways in which their neglect and dismissal of labor conditions 
within women's facilities adds to the silencing and invisibility of women 
prisoners and their issues. ■& 

Further Reading: 

Juanila Diaz-Cotto Gender, Ethnicity, and the State Latina and Latino Prison Politics, SUNY Press. 1996. 

Karlcne Faith Unruly Women: The Politics "l ( onfmement and Resistance Press Gang. 1993. 

Nancy Kurshan Women and Imprisonment m the U.S History and ( urrent Rea/m 

hup prisonactivist.oi men-and-imprisonment.html 




Red, White, and Wal-Mart Blue 

Interstate 540 could be called the highway that Sam 
Walton built. Follow 1-540 through the Ozark hill-country 
of northwest Arkansas towards Bentonville, Ark., and 
you will find the converted warehouse that is Wal- 
Mart's corporate headquarters. Paved in the early '90s, 
1-540 allowed Wal-Mart trucks to get goods in and out 
of warehouses in the Ozarks faster than ever before. The 
hills along northern 1-540 are now being leveled in favor 
of mini-malls, subdivisions, and high-rise hotels. Some 
locals have gone so far as to speculate that Bentonville 
and its surrounding cities on the 1-540 corridor are a 
blueprint for the Wal-Martization of the world. 

Every June, thousands of Wal-Mart shareholders 
gather half an hour from Bentonville at the Bud Walton 
Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., to celebrate the ascension of 
Wal-Mart as the largest company ever. Sam Walton used 
to love his shareholders' conventions, and they have kept 
growing even after his death. The convention is basically 
a huge pep rally supporting union busting, urban sprawl, 
and the cheap sweatshop-made goods that have made 
Wal-Mart the undisputed champion of retailing. 

Each convention has its own theme; last year's 
theme was "It's My Wal-Mart." There is singing, some 
jerky dancing, and even a band that kicks off the whole 
weekend. Yes, folks, Guido and the Wal-Mart band rock 
the shareholders' convention at 6:45 a.m. with hits like 
"Wal-Mart Pride," "Mr. Sam," and the inevitable title 
track of their debut album, "It's My Wal-Mart." Quoted 
in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Guido said, "I write 
about swimming upstream, going the distance, pride, what 
their goals are. It's all red, white, and Wal-Mart blue." 

Unions, environmentalists, sprawl campaigners, 
anarchists, peace activists, and human rights activists 
will be converging in Fayetteville this summer to form a 
counter presence to Wal-Mart's shareholder convention. 
There will be free housing, food, workshops, strategy 
sessions, networking, non-violent actions, and a whole 
lot of partying as we celebrate the largest movement 
Arkansas has ever seen. 

o 

E-mail againxtthenaKa go/airrrade. net 3 

o 

or visit H mi againstthewal.org for more information and to "2 

download materials to help you organize your community to ^, 

make that trip in June => 



Joe Diffie 
Jerry Business 



GO 



E 



CO 



Welcome to the Military! 
May I Take Your Order? 

Sa> the word "military" and most leftists recoil with horror. But for many 
of the 1.5 million enlisted men and women, the U.S. Armed Forces isn't 
a political statement; it's a job. If you believe the "Be All You Can Be" 
hype, joining the military is a great way to escape inner-city violence, 
rural boredom, and low-paying employment at a fast food restaurant. 
But is the military really a better job than. say. Taco Bell.' Read below 
to find out! 

• If the Taco Bell manager wants you to stay late on a Friday and you 
refuse, you could be denied a raise or fired. In the military, officials can 
issue a "Stop-Loss order" to extend your deployment indefinitely. Even if 
you signed up for three years of active duty, you could find yourself do- 
ing four. fi\ e, or e\ en six years — just ask the 7,000 troops in the Middle 
East w ho ha\ e been sen ing extra time since January. 

• At your job at Taco Bell, if you refuse to clean the deep fryer, you could 
he "written up" or fired. In the military, if you refuse a direct order in the 
middle of combat, you could be shot by your commanding officer. 

• If you decide you're sick of smelling like tacos and want to quit your 
job, you just need to tell your boss. You could give two weeks notice 

— or you could just walk out in the middle of making nachos and never 
look back. If you quit your job as a soldier before your official last day, 
you could be court-martialed and thrown in prison. 

• I nlcss you happen to serve a soft-shell taco to a violent, hard-shcll-taeo- 
\o\ ing serial killer, chances arc you will not be murdered at your job. But 
1 1 you're in the military, those chances increase dramatically. At press time, 
548 soldiers had been killed in the Iraq War and 3,039 have been injured. 
And if you're a minority, your odds are even worse. In the first Gulf War, 
over 50 percent of the front-line troops were people of color. 

• II you work at Taco Bell full-time for a year, earning $7 an hour and 
taking two weeks vacation, you'll earn $14,000 — slightly more than the 
average army recruit, who will earn SI 3,460 plus housing. Also, once a 
soldier retires from the military, he or she will earn, on average, about 
$l,7()(i less per year than non-veterans, 

• Unlike taco Bell, the Armed forces oilers money lor college; but if you 
read the fine print, it's a complicated story. To qualifv for the lull Mont- 
gomerv G.I. Bill, you need to serve lour years in active duty and four in 
the reserves. You have to gel an honorable discharge. You also need to 
pay $100 a month for the first year $1 ,200 total — just to have the op- 
tion to get the funding once you leave the military, lo get money from the 
Arm) \avv ( ollege I und, you need to be a high school graduate, score 
m the top 50 percent on a standardized test, and take a less-than-desirable 
job, Iwo-thirds ot recruits never get anv college funding. Most who do 

qualif) go to rwo-yeai communit) schools. Assuming that a two-year 

school COStS $4,000 each year, the total payment from the military, minus 
I lie SI .2(10 you ahead) put in, would be $6,800. If you stretched that over 
the loin years ol lull-time soldiering, that's a louS) 850 more each hour 
loi a job thai could send von to Iraq indefinitely, earning almost mini- 
mum wage, while dodging suicide bombers and stra) bullets Anyone 

need a [aco Bell application? 

Information based on interviews conducted by Madeleine Baran with 
Douglas Smith, military spokesperson based in Fort Knox, K). and Kevin 
Ramirez, tin- < oordinator <>l Military Out <>i (hu Si hoots 







A few months ago, my roommate's union went 
mi strike. She started pacing the apartment and 
devouring several books a dav to take her mind 
off not knowing when she'd go back to work. AFS( All 
Local 3800 clerical workers walked out over health 
insurance, among other things one o\ seven labor 
unions to strike last year demanding better health care 
in the Twin Cities. 

this trend locally reflects a growing nationwide 
discontent with an inadequate, even catastrophic, health 
care system. However, in Ithaca. NY, a group of citizens 
have decided to fight the battle for affordable health care 
in do-it-yourself fashion, fhev created their own: the 
Ithaca Health fund Health care advocates in the fwm 
Cities and elsewhere are taking notice. 

For many, health insurance, no matter how inade- 
quate, is a luxurx the) can't afford According to the (en- 
ters lor Disease ( ontrol and National (enter for Health 
Statistics, an estimated 14.8 percent of all Americans had 
no health insurance coverage in 2003 fhat translates to 
42.3 million Americans with no health insurance 

I hose who need health care the most are those 
least able to access it When I lost nn graduate health 
insurance. I decided to continue it through the COBRA 
program, which allows me to pax out ol pocket foi a 
vcai and a hall Mv monthlv health care bill is higher 
than mv food bill \ccouling to the \merican Medi- 
cal Association's 2003 Health Care Financial [rends 




[U\ 



n 



u 







Susan Leem 
Chris 



Report, the percent growth of premiums from 
1998 to 2002 was four times greater than that 
of consumer prices (43.4 percent versus 10.4 
percent). 

As the national health care system has 
shut more and more people out, the uninsured 
have been forced to seek alternative solutions. 
In February of 1997, Paul Glover founded a 
member-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit health financ- 
ing system, an "assurance rather than insur- 
ance" program called the Ithaca Health Fund. 
IHF has over 600 members in 22 states, over 
$296,000 of available funds, and only pays 
one employee, Paul Glover. After working 
years for free, Paul now accepts S8.50 an hour 
for about 1 hours of work a week, and has 
refused raises. 

"The idea behind the fund is that the 
wealthier and stronger help the less strong and 
less wealthy," Glover said. "A society means 
that people help each other; a dogfight means 
they exploit each other. It is anti-social, inhu- 
man, and anti-American to make a profit from 
misery." 

The ages of the members range from two 
to 87. Over a dozen Ithaca businesses use IHF 
to insure their workers, senior citizens supple- 
ment their Medicare with it, and students 



The Ithaca Health Fund's Model for Change 



rely on it while in school. The cost is $100 a 
year for adults regardless of age, gender, or 
pre-existing conditions, and hasn't changed 
since it started. For those who have difficult) 
affording that, the IHF established a grant to 
give 20 memberships away per year. Ithaca's 
community social service agencies determine 
who gets them. 

"Our long range plan," Glover said, "is to 
create our own clinic for medical and dental 
care [and] holistic care so that we're not just 
making larger payments into the profit system 
or more categories of care, but controlling the 
cost and the quality within the highest stan- 
dards of humanity" 

The IHF makes payments to any pro- 
vider anywhere in the world and requires no 
deductible, but the type of coverage is limited 
to emergency-based care with the highest 
payment being $2,500 (for broken bones). 
The elected board members decide which 
procedures are eligible for coverage. The 
only elective surgery covered is vasectomy, 
a controversial vote among members that 
eventually won out in the name of population 
control. 

IHF board member and Family Nurse 
Practitioner Elizabeth Salon acknowledges 
that the fund is not yet able to address major 
illness or end of life care. "IHF is not a Blue 
Cross," Salon said, "but it works at a basic 
level. Until we have universal health care, it's 
a great deal." 

There are two different beliefs at the core 
of the health reform debate. At one end of the 
spectrum is market-based health care where 
the commodity of care is distributed according 
to one's ability to buy it. At the other extreme, 
health care is considered a social service dis- 
tributed according to need. Single-payer health 
care is based on this principle. One way to 
think of it is as Medicare for all, and countries 
like Canada, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark 
practice it. 

Despite maintaining poor availability and 
distribution of health care, the United States 
still spends more than any other country on 



health care. According to the Organization for 
Economic Co-operation and Development, the 
United States spent approximately 13.9 per- 
cent of its Gross Domestic Product in 2001; 
that's 47 percent more per person than the 
second-ranked country, Switzerland. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statis- 
tics, experts project that health spending will 
account for 18.4 percent of the GDP by 2013, 
and if personal consumption rates continue, 
more than one in every four of those dollars 
will be spent on health care. 

So far, the IHF has paid $38,479.50 in 
grants to members. The fund's website lists 
their payments and their denials with the date, 
dollar amount, claim number, and type of 
service. They also accept Ithaca Hours (an al- 
ternative "local dollar" system also founded by 
Paul Glover) for partial payment of the fund. 
The IHF also extends provider discounts for 
local — especially alternative — health practi- 
tioners and their services, such as acupressure. 
Reiki, or midwifery. 

IHF is not a legally recognized health 
system, but has been held up as a model for 
something better. The Center for Prosperity, a 
Twin Cities non-profit consulting service/think 
tank for democratic economies, is recruiting 
members for IHF in an effort to build its own 
fund. "This project is good in itself and is a 
tangible real life example of something beyond 
the individual versus bureaucracies paradigm," 
Program Coordinator Erik Esse said. "We're 
going to show here that we can do this." 

As a conscientious objector during the 
Vietnam War, Glover has always known 
there was more than one way to fight a 
good fight. "We agree that the poor should 
be marching on Washington, demanding 
righteously that American health [insurance] 
heal rather than kill," he said, "but we regard 
this as another way to organize health con- 
sumers to raise that demand." "fr 
More information is available tit 
Ithaca Health Fund 

Box 362 Ithaca, NY 14851. (607) 387-8344 
www.ithacahealth.org 
Center for Prosperity: www.prosperitycenter.org 



CO 



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written in response to the reckless and immoral celebration of 
the militarism of the Bush Administration. After the 9-11 
attacks the world needed \ ision. humanity, and sophistication; 
msicad it got blind, simple-mind ed warmongering. The Bush 
Administration's selfish commitment to war and wealth has 
been barbaric, obscene, and monstrous. 

The Administration's declaration of global war on 
terror is an antediluvian approach to finding ways to address 
the world's problems of sectarian conflict, organized crime, 
overpopulation, poverty, hunger, despair, increasingly virulent 
diseases, environmental depredation, reckless depletion of 

global resources, and degradation of traditional cultures by the 
West's culture of consumption, amusement, and spectacle. 

I hat so man) Americans voted against George Bush 
indicates thai main millions o\ Americans arc still inspired 
b) 8 romantic idealism and spirituality rooted not in blind 
nationalism but m the love of familv and communitv and in a 
reverence for nature— God's handiwork. This is a spirituality 
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nol ol greed, a spirituality thai comes from living wisely, not 
simplemindedl) 

It will be task (it latiana's generation to restore spiritual 
health to an American wav of lift thai has become obsccnelv 
wasteful and destructive ol habitat, human and natural, of 

families and communities, and ol individuals li will be this 
i generation thai Will reestablish America's moral 
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all human beings 



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A LIFE IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY 

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL 

INTRODUCTION BY KATHLEEN CLEAVER 




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I 

-= Jessica Hoffman 
9 



I've got an appetite for Jane Fon- 
da movies, 1969-1980. 

It's been oft reported that, during those 
sears, Fonda herself had an appetite limited to 
yogurt, cigarettes, and diet pills. Nothing uncom- 
mon about that for a mm le star on the losing side 
of a rigid gender s\ stein in which standardized 
Body Beauty is one of the firmest pillars. There's 
also her much-discussed radical leftist activism 
during those years. But talk about movie stars' 
'real'' lives abounds, and while 1 think the re- 
alities of life as a movie star provide significant 
fodder lor cultural analysis, I also think it's 
worthwhile, sometimes, to locus on the work 
itself, on the creature on the screen, doing its 
job of performance, embodiment, being a movie 
si. 11 So. those COntextualizing notes aside, can 1 

lei Ms. I onda's repeated!) run-through-the-mud 

persona] lite dry o\'\ a few minutes and talk a bit 
about her work ' Because it's brilliant 



No matter the role self-aware stalked 
prostitute. Depression-era desperate, lone 
rancher, tough and talented pla>w right, 
foreign correspondent, military -wife-turned- 
military-system-critic (read, also: '70s liber- 
ated woman) Jane Fonda is solid She 
grabs focus not mctcK or primarily with her 
beauty, but with her strength She's the big- 
gest force in the scene. e\er> time \\ hate\er 
romantic or career or emotional strife her 
character is dealing with, she doesn't resort 
to physicall) expressing it with the fragile 
kind of distress typical of big-screen femmes. 

When she sinks. utterly drained, onto a cot 
several days into the '30s dance marathon o\' 
They Shoot Horses, Doni They ' it's not a del- 
icate, breakable body that's sinking there. It's 
a bod] that's strong bj necessity; it's a mo- 
ment that shows not weakness but strength. 
pushed to its absolute limits In Tout va bien, 




when she argues with her husband (referred 
to throughout the film as "the reporter's hus- 
band" opposite unmodified, possessive-free 
references to her character, "the reporter"), 
she faces him head on. from the middle of the 
couch, body open. 

The '70s were a magical period in U.S. 
cinema. It was a decade full of smart, often 
political socially aware movies. Big stu- 
dios no longer dominated film production, 
which meant production was increasingly 
in the hands of producers and independent 
studios (distribution was, and is. another 
story). Sixties counter-culture, both artistic 
and political, informed a new generation 
of young filmmakers. It was the decade of 
— the standard cinema histories tell us — the 
rise of Scorsese (Mean Streets in '73 and Taxi 
Driver in '76), Francis Ford Coppola (The 
Godfather. '12), Robert Altman (he released 



14 movies between '69 and '79, among them 
M*A*S*Il. McCabed Ws. Wler, Nashville, 
and Three Women). John Cassavetes, and Hal 
Ashby. 

What most of the last-Golden-Age-of- 
Hollywood histories manage not to men- 
tion is that, smack in between his stories of 
small-time hoods and a mohawked sociopath, 
Scorsese directed Alice Doesn't Live Here 
Anymore, in which an unexpectedly widow ed 
housewife and mother (Ellen Burstyn) finds 
herself suddenly unanchored. with no money 
and no experience in shaping a life of her 
own. She hits the road with her son to find 
her way through life after housewife-hood, 
life as a working single mom in full charge. 
Five years later, another on-screen working 
mom appeared, this one staving up late to 
read Dylan Thomas and standing on tables 
by day, shouting demands to unionize the 



small-town textile factory where she worked 
( Vorma Rae). 

The preface to editor Charles Harpole's 
600-page History of the American Cinema, 
Volume 9. which covers the period from 1970 
to 1979, makes deliberate note of the decade's 
historically anomalous suggestion that "main- 
stream American movies might aspire to the 
sort of serious social or political content" c\ i- 
denced in films critical of Vietnam {Coming 
Home. The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now), of 
the Nixon presidency (Shampoo. All the Pres- 
ident's Men), of "frontier capitalism and, by 
extension, of the American economic system 
at large" (McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Heaven's 
Gate), etc., but makes no mention of femi- 
nism, the decade's women's movement, films 
that presented either characters or narratives 
(or both) that challenged gender hierarchy, 
patriarchy, and sexism 1 . 



eo 



2 

=3 

E 



Yes, it was the decade of the ascendancy of 
young-buck auteurs criticizing capitalism, 
government, and war. And it was the decade 
of the first blockbusters {Star Wars, Jaws). 
But it was also the decade of Alice. Norma 
Rac. and Maude. 

Sure, even Alice, Norma Rac. and Har- 
old and Maude, featuring feminist icons as 
they c\o. were directed and produced by men. 
There was little " 7 0s magic happening when 
it came to shifting the gendered distribution 
of labor and power in the film industry ( pretty 
women in front of the camera, smart men be- 
hind it). And it's no accident or anomaly that 
Jane Fonda was oear-stan ing to maintain her 
ability (read: desirability) to perform so many 
versions visions of the complex woman. Or 
that the best-known aspect of Sally Field's 
Norma Rae story is her "you really like me" 
Oscar acceptance speech. Even as audiences' 
appetites for strong, multidimensional female 
characters increased, those mediated appe- 
tites still preferred women who were skinny 
and lovable, and the actors knew it. 

Still, beauty-and-lovability standard 
problems notwithstanding, what about that 
audience appetite for strong, complex fe- 
male characters? For Jane Fonda after she 
made the transition from '60s sex kitten to 
'70s serious actor activist? In the early part 
of the decade, the most "bankable" female 
stars, according to Motion Picture Alma- 
nac v annual survey, were Julie Andrews. 
Barbra Streisand. Elizabeth Taylor, and Ali 
MacGraw. (That's mother-figure in a musi- 
cal, ambitious-performer-diverted-by-des- 
peration-for-a-man in a musical, sexpot se- 
ductress, and love-of-his-life.) By decade's 
end. Barbra was joined on the bankable list 
by Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda. 

In a single 1 1 -year span, Fonda played 
a smart (not cutesy beart-of-gold-style) 
prostitute attempting to reckon consciously 
with the discrepancy between her ambitions 
and her psychological and financial needs; 
a ranch-running, land-defending cowgirl; a 
housewife turned anti-war activist; Lillian 
Hellman, of all improbable film heroines, in 
a film about a romantic friendship (or more') 
between two women, and a divorced woman 
who loins two co-workers at her first-ever 
wage-earning job in delicious!) getting even 
with then butt-pinching, promotion-denying 
boss. I hese were very successful movies 
\mc la Five made over $100 million I here 

was an audience for this stuti 

["here's no doubt the second-wave 

women's movement had a lot to <.\o with 
n In man) ways, Fonda's '70s roles were 
a reflection of how broadl) that decade's 
feminist movement affected the entire 
culture While lacking (but ol course) the 
movement's radicalism and explicit, nuanced 
political analysis, the very existence ol these 

films proves that women's liberation hit the 



Audiences (markets) are all about collective appetites. When we're 
talking about a very costly medium like film, audiences/markets 
matter a lot, and so mass appetites are very much mediated, cul- 
tivated, manipulated, and shaped. 



mainstream. Middle-class white women were 
suddenly entering the workforce in large 
numbers; marriage had been interrogated and 
individual women were leaving oppressive 
marriages or choosing not to get married in 
the first place: women's relationships with 
each other were revealed to be substantive, 
meaningful. In consciousness-raising groups 
across the country, women started telling 
each other their stories, and all that story-tell- 
ing helped to encourage an end to formerly 
pervasive feelings of isolation and a begin- 
ning of story-telling about women's lives 
on a large scale. In the late 20th century, the 
very biggest story-telling medium was film. 
Embodied by Jane Fonda and a few other 
extraordinarily talented actors, a new kind of 
women's stories hit the big time in the '70s. 

Audiences (markets) are all about col- 
lective appetites. When we're talking about 
a very costly medium like film, audiences/ 
markets matter a lot. and so mass appetites 
are very much mediated, cultivated, manipu- 
lated, and shaped. 

According to Harpole's history, "strate- 
gic or 'scientific' marketing in the motion pic- 
ture industry began in 1^72 with Paramount! 
spectacular success in promoting... The 
Godfather... Business Heck pointed out that 
recent market changes had forced the movie 
industry 'to do what most other industries 
had to do generations ago: synchronize pro- 
duction and marketing." That is.. .'assume a 
market that would justify the outlay."' By 
decade's end. audiences were flocking to the 
first blockbusters (While I was editing this. 
the latest View Yorker plopped into my mail- 
box, containing, among other things, a piece 
that quotes critic Stephen 1 arber's comment 
that "Audiences who think they made Maws' 
a success are pitifully naive about the mass 
media." Farber maintained that an "aggres- 
sive media blitz" for the film "pummeled" 
audiences into their theater seals > 

Interesting, then, that someone like 
lane I oiula solid where movie heroines 

before her (and since) revert to coyness, to 

delicate versions of fear and other forms of 

distress, playing a diverse array of multidi- 
mensional characters should be among 
the most bankable female stars m the de- 
cade that started strategically considering 

concepts like "bankable " Interesting that 

movie-money folks were able (o "assume a 
market |lo| justif) the outlay" for not just, 
sav. Sorma Rac or Wine to Five as singular 
anomalies, hut loi a decade lull o\ nuanced 

ami often defiant female leads \nd this 



without any female writers or directors mak- 
ing mainstream films. How much was that 
assumption a response to emergent audience 
appetites, inspired by feminist movement 
and corresponding changes in individual and 
group lives'.' How was that emergent appetite 
shaped mediated by the new strategic market- 
ing in the film industry? (And. tangential to 
this discussion but important to consider, how 
did de-politicized or watered-down responses 
to representations of women's liberation af- 
fect feminist movement and the culture it was 
seeking to change?) 

Although the mere fact of 2002 's The 
Hours has me hopeful that maybe U.S. audi- 
ences hav e a renew ed taste for character-driv- 
en stories about multidimensional women, 
there's not (yet. at least) a Jane Fonda for this 
generation. There's no one the industry can 
bank on to keep a mass of us in our chairs 
to watch nuanced explorations of women's 
lives. Of course, the increase (though slow 
and hard-won) in female (even feminist) di- 
rectors and producers — Christine Vachon o\ 
Killer Films {I Shot Andy Warhol. Boys Don't 
Cry, Hedwig, and so many more) not least 
among them — combined with the advent 
of digital video technology (i.e.. the possibil- 
ity of making mov tes for hardly any money 
at all. compared to traditional and highly 
prohibitive restrictive production costs) gives 
that hope 3 a whole new aspect. 

And while we hope, lei's also indulge 
our appetites for good mov ies, and especially, 
in these fearful, conservative times, transgres- 
sive ones: Join feminist queer indie ? first- 
weekend clubs and show the appetite-bend- 
ers how you've developed your own taste. If 
you're gonna plop down any discretionary 
dollars at all these days, why not earmark 
a few o\ them for supporting transgressive 
films, or at least ones that qualify as some 
kind of good in your book " Buy a ticket for a 
mov ic that speaks to your appetite Go ahead. 

as poet Cynthia Nelson tells us. and sing your 

public thirst, i* 

Footnoh i 

Ilicu- is also no mention of films thai address 
race, anti-racist work, etc 
I lie movie's penultimate chapter iloes involve 
some extended musing on Hollywood's other fa- 
vorite way io ire.ii female sex workers prostitute 
as temptress, corrupter, >..iuvc ol any violence 
inflicted against herself oi other women 
lo maintain mj hope. I'm going to try and ignore 
me feci thai the l\ll)H tells me lane Fonda's yo- 

ing to make hei comeback in I proposed 2005 
film called Honster-in-Law, in which she'll play 
s.i\ n isn'i so J I o's "horrifying mother 
in-law " 




Jennifer Grant 



We all know the value of eating organic, getting regular 
exercise, using holistic medicine and natural rem- 
edies, campaigning for the environment, and cutting down 
on our toxin intake. We also know the importance of healthy 
sexuality to one's general well-being. For many, this means 
incorporating sex toys, lubricants, love potions, and other 
adult products into their lives. Sex has become more main- 
stream than ever and, in spite of the abstinence advocates, 
there's no stopping it. 

Nowadays, there are clean, well-lighted sex toy shops 
in every large city. Even if you live in the sticks, it's easy 
to find a reputable company on the Internet that will deliver 
sex products discreetly to your door and include a great 
deal of education on how to use, care for, and clean them. 
This trend has been developing for the last 10 years, and 
now the "sex-positive" industry is in full swing. This is 
great for everyone. It means you no longer have to risk 
being seen entering that seedy 24 hour XXX store, and the 
quality and selection of sex products has gone up while 
prices have dropped. 

The problem is, we Americans are evolving sexually as 
a culture, but not to the point where we're questioning the 
standards that go into the manufacture of the sex products 
we consume. We're ok with buying them, but what are we 
really getting? The adult industry is loath to self-regulate, 
consumers aren't putting up a fuss, and the government's 
not interested in safety right now; they'd rather prosecute 
housewives for selling vibrators at home parties. So what's a 
health-conscious horny person to do? 

The first thing to remember is that the same principles 
that go into purchasing, say, a Palm Pilot don't apply when 
you're shopping for sex toys. Even with all the advance- 
ments, the sex toy industry is still overrun with shoddy and 
potentially unsafe products. This has a lot to do with stub- 
born taboos and the fact that most people don't complain 
at the Better Business Bureau about the rash they got from 
their new vibrating dong. 

In my job as a sex advice columnist and owner of an 
online sex toy shop, I hear a lot of stories about dildo bum, 
lube rash, and other negative reactions to adult products 
that could have been avoided. The interesting thing is these 



stories often come from people who normally are very con- 
scious about what they put in their bodies. 

This is because even post-sexual revolution, sex is still 
a complicated thing. We all do it, but it remains mysterious 
and can bring up all sorts of awkward feelings. It's ok to 
own a vibrator if you're a woman, but most don't talk about 
it. And forget about being a guy and telling your homeboys 
about your girlfriend fucking you in the ass with her strap- 
on. We still have a long way to go before we can truly talk 
openly about sex, and of course this climate of shame and 
silence affects the way the sex toy industry markets their 
products. 

Basically, there have been few formal, scientific stud- 
ies done anywhere on the safety of sex toy materials. One 
private study commissioned by a German magazine found 
high toxin levels in sex toys. Because of this, both European 
and Canadian health authorities considered studying the 
effects of the plastics in question, but eventually. decided 
against further research. 

The European Union has banned the use of polyvinyl 
chloride (PVC) plastics in children's toys (which are the 
same as those used in sex toys), but has not addressed the 
safety of adult products. The United States FDA has also 
investigated children's toys, but somewhat predictably, they 
concluded that a child chewing on a rattle that smells like a 
toxic waste dump won't suffer any considerable harm. 

Pure PVC plastic is used widely around the world. It's 
normally hard and inflexible, like plumbing pipes. To soften 
it. whether you're making a jelly dong or a teething ring, 
chemicals must be added. When pressure is applied to the 
softened plastic product, it leaches estrogen-like substances 
called phthalates that cause liver and kidney damage in 
lab rats. Over time, PVC plastics will emit these toxins on 
their own, which is why your sex toy may turn cloudy or 
discolored after a few months, while its chemical odor gets 
worse. 

The EPA has little to say about phthalates. "No infor- 
mation is available," states their web site, and phthalates fall 
under Group D, which means "not classifiable as to human 
carcinogenicity." What environmental and activist groups 
suspect is that phthalates do cause problems ranging from 



CJ1 



hormonal disturbances to immune deficiency 
m humans, with similar effects on wildlife. 

Short-term, you may experience a rash, burn- 
ing, pain, even a vaginal infection from your 
sex toy. 

I lie children's toy industry has done 
some self-regulation, but in the world of adult 
toys, it's another story. Currently the sex toy 
community is large and financially strong 
enough to carry political clout, should it 
w ish to go the greasy palms route of so many 
other large corporations. Hut there's a reason 
why people download porn on Kazaa all day 
long while thinking twice about stealing that 
new Beyonce single. The government and 
the adult industry' have never exactly been 
friends. I sually, their only lace time is when 
sex industry leaders are defending themselves 
in court. People in the adult industry associate 
on a business le\ el w ith each other, their law - 
yers and their bankers, and that's about it. 

Adult toy companies in the U.S. classify 
their products as "novelties." This is why 
you never receive an instruction manual w ith 
your sex toys. If they tell you how to use it. it 
becomes a medical device and manufacturers 
must follow a whole other set of restrictive 
and expensive regulations. Novelty classifi- 
cation is easier on the toy companies, but it's 
not so good for the consumer. 

The best thing to do is educate yourself 
on the different materials and ingredients 
used to make commonly available toys, lubri- 
cants, and love potions. The next best thing 
is to exercise good judgment and common 
sense. The FDA is certainly not the highest 
authority on what's safe. If your adult toy. 
condom, or massage oil smells toxic, it prob- 
ably is. If it gives you a strange reaction, stop 
using it and look for safe alternatives. 

The only safe sex toys are those made 
from food or medical-grade silicone, or non- 
porous materials like stainless steel or Py- 
rex™ glass. Lubricants, massage oils, warm- 
ing lotions, and other products marketed for 
sexual use may also contain toxic ingredients 
Here's a breakdown of what may be good and 
bad for you. and why 

Potentially I NSAFE Materials and Ingre- 
dients 

r\ ( Plastics \n\ soft, flexible sex toy 
that's not silicone is probably made from 
l'\ ( and is potentially unsafe rhese are of- 
ten called "jelly" toys. Realistic toys like ( y- 
berskin™ and Realskin™ products are also 
l'\ ( Small bullet-style vibrators sometimes 
come covered with icll> material, so make 
S sure it's safe before you buy 

a 
E 

■f- Latei It's not as common these da\s. but 

e sex io\s often used u> be made from latex 
| rubbei and some oldei models are -.till sold 

■3 I alex will break down over time and is haul 
t 



to clean latex allergies can 
be severe, so if you have 
one. make sure the toy is 
sale for you. Most sex toy 
companies are good about 
clearly labeling their latex 
products 

Nonoxynol 9 - For years it 
w as suspected that this sper- 
micide caused more damage 
than it prevented. This is 
because Nonoxynol 9 was 
originally formulated for 
use as an industrial cleanser. 
Recent studies have proven 
that N9 is so abrasive it 
causes tiny cuts in the 
genitals, which increases the 
chance of spreading diseases 
like HIV. Amazingly, some 
condoms and many personal 
lubricants still use N9. Avoid 
it at all costs. 



Mass-Marketed Lubri- 
cants Many lubricants 
for sex contain a cocktail of 
unpronounceable chemicals. 
As with sex toys, there aren't 
a lot of studies on the effects 
of these. But if you use or- 
ganic soaps, shampoos, or 
beauty products, you'll be 
happy to know there are a 
few alternatives available. A 
company called Sensua Or- 
ganics recently released the 
first widely available organic sex lube. Un- 
like previous products which tended to be too 
watery. Sensua 's lube is slippery and gel-like. 
A good online store or catalog will include 
ingredient listings for their lubricants 

Silicone or Oil-Based Lubricants Silicone 
lube is great for occasional sex in the water, 
but it doesn't interact well with PVC and can 
make a toy's surface sticky, shedding bits o\~ 
plastic Household items like oils and petro- 
leum jelly do the same thing, plus thev can 
gi\c women a vaginal infection Silicone lube 
also interacts with silicone tovs Make sure 
your lubricant is water-based and you won't 
have any problems 

Vibrators Although vibrators made from 
hard plastic arc generally safe in terms of 
toxin emissions, their electronics arc often 
less than high-tech Especially with water- 
proof toys, check for protruding wires or 

worn contacts and discard if you find any. 

\ ibrators made in Japan or Germany are gen- 
erally of better quality. Chinese-made toys 
are cheapei and good if you are experiment- 
but remember the safety precautions and 



more toy tips 

Use condoms over jelly toys to protect 
the skin from potential toxins. It may 
be impossible to find your favorite sex 
toy in a safe material like silicone. So. 
just slip a condom (without Nonoxynol 
9!) over it. This also makes cleanup 
easier. 

Purchase your adult products at a 
reputable business. Whether it's 
online or in a physical store, a good 
sex toy shop will have friendly staff 
who can answer your questions about 
the materials or ingredients in the 
products they carry and be able to tell 
you where the toys were made. If they 
can't, keep looking and find a com- 
pany that cares enough to educate 
themselves and their customers on 
the safety of sex toy materials. 

While it may be far-fetched to expect 
the adult manufacturing industry to 
clean up its act on its own, aware- 
ness is growing and more safe sex toy 
alternatives are cropping up all the 
time. It's imperative that those of us 
who use sex toys are given choices, 
as well as the information we need to 
make informed decisions. Just as you 
consciously decide where to buy your 
produce, you can make a difference 
by choosing sex products that truly 
promote healthy sexuality. 



use common sense. A 
reputable sex toy store 
will answer your ques- 
tions about where their 
products are made. 

Safe Sex Toy Alterna- 
tives 

Silicone Sex toys 
made from food or 
medical-grade silicone 
are gaining in popular- 
ity as a soft, flexible 
replacement for PVC. 
Not only are silicone 
toys non-toxic, they 
warm up quickly and 
retain heat, they're easy 
to disinfect, and thev 
don't degrade, which 
means they can last a 
lifetime. They're more 
expensive, but in the 
long run thev are quite 
literally more bang for 
the buck. Make sure 
the toy is high-grade 
silicone, as some com- 
panies will attempt 
to fool you bv using 
impure silicone plastic 
compounds and label- 
ing it "silicone." Manu- 
facturers that specialize 
in silicone toys arc less 
likely to use dangerous 
compounds. 



Glass - Although it may sound freaky, toys 

made from high-grade Pyrex glass and pur- 
chased from a reputable dealer are perfectly 
safe. What's more, glass is entirely non-toxic 
and because it's non-porous, it's even easier 
to clean than silicone. You can share glass 
with others, which is not recommended with 
any other tov material except metal. The 
heaviness of glass combined with its smooth- 
ness makes tor a new and decidedly sensual 

experience. 

Metals Dildos and butt plugs m metal are 
safe, bul only if they're unpainted. Almost 

all of the painted tovs on the market are 
prone to llakmg. and nobody needs paint 
chips in their body. Unpainted metal and 
Stainless steel arc excellent alternatives and. 
like glass, lend a whole new dimension to 
lovemaking 

Granite, Marble. Wood If your dildo 

doesn't have splinters, varnish, paint, rough 
edges, or scams, go for it 1 hese arc the origi- 
nal sex to) materials, used safely bv humans 
for thousands of years, "ft 




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through the vaginal wall. Angle your penetration or select a curved 
sex toy and apply firm rhythmic pressure to pleasure the G-spot. 
Some women find this sensation highly sexual and some women 
expel a clear fluid called female ejaculate (it's not urine) from 
G-spot stimulation. Every woman has a G-spot, but not every woman 
loves having it pressed or otherwise stimulated. You'll just have to try it for yourself! 



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As hilarious as you might think a chimp dressed 
in people clothes is, there's more to these working 
chimps' stories that you should know. 




Sarah Baeckler Charles Spano 



Imagine the worst job you ever had. Maybe your first summer job. 
It wasn't all it was cracked up to be — mowing lawns for less than 
minimum wage, pulling weeds, babysitting, maybe flipping burgers 
or slinging fries. It was probably pretty lousy. But however low the pay, 
however aw ful it seemed, you were compensated for your work and you 
were there by choice (parental ultimatums do not constitute forced la- 
bor). Now imagine a really awful job. It involves imprisonment, rigorous 
training regimes, impoverished living conditions, daily beatings, no pay 
— and the workers are children. 

I spent over a year working undercover at a major I lollyvvood animal 
training facility, researching the practices and protocols used in the film 
and television industry. At the time, the compound housed five chim- 
panzees. As a primatologist, I specialize in the relationships that occur 
between captive chimpanzees and their human caregivers, so I used my 
training to assess exactly what these chimpanzees were experiencing as 
working screen actors. 

Those unfamiliar with chimpanzee behavior could be misled by 
appearances, as is often the case on set and on screen. Actors, directors, 
and crew working with chimpanzees will claim they "looked happy 
enough." or "seemed affectionate with their trainer." Dennis Miller, in 
a strange preemptive attack on animal activists on the first episode of 
his CNBC talk show, mocked the idea that his chimpanzee "co-host" 
might be unhappy, offering. "If someone could come in and show me the 
[chimpanzee's] unhappy, I'll let her go." This was likely attention-baiting 
hyperbole; however, if he were to make good on his offer, a primatolo- 
gist (which chimpanzee trainers are not) could easily provide proof of the 
detrimental effects of entertainment work on the chimpanzee's life. 

Many viewers watching films will assume that, just because chim- 
panzee actors are wearing human clothes and making big, open-mouthed 
grins, they are pampered movie stars, a notion as remote from the truth 
as possible. For example, chimpanzees don't smile the way humans do. 
When you see a chimpanzee "smile" onscreen, you're actually seeing 
what is called a "fear grimace." This is not the sign of a happy chimp. It's 
the sign of a frightened chimp. When acting chimpanzees cling to their 
trainers, this isn't because they love their trainers. It's because they're 
terrified to leave their trainers' sides, for fear of what might happen if 
they do. World-renowned primatologist Dr. Roger Fouts notes that this 
"clinging" behavior in chimpanzee actors is also found in abused children 
- particularly that they cling to the abusive parent. And, most simply, 
that is what entertainment chimpanzees are — horribly abused children. 
According to Dr. Fouts, "It's wrong to use chimps in entertainment for 
the same reason it is wrong to force children to work in sweatshops [and] 



photo of chimp in the wild (left) by Carole Noon. Photos of chimps "working" (above and subsequent pages) by Charles Spano 



CO 



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in allow parents to beat and dominate their children. Chimps in enter- 
tainment basically is a form of domination and exploitation." 

I he average day in the life of an aeting chimpanzee starts at about 
6:00 a.m. The chimp — we'll call him "Bob" — wakes up in a 15- 
square-foot cement cage with several cage mates. He sleeps in a 
three- by five-fool plywood denbox. It's dirty with old scraps of food 
and garbage because Ins caregivers don't clean it very well. The cage 
is outside and made of chain link fence, so it gets pretty cold at night. 
Bob often wakes up shivering. 

Around 8:00 a.m., Bob's caregivers arrive and take him out of 
the cage to change his diaper. He hoots when he sees them coming 
because he knows they are bringing breakfast. Once he and his cage 
mates have eaten, one or two caregivers come into the cage and start 
cleaning. Because this is an area that Bob and his cage mates consider 
their o\\ n. they sometimes bite the people who are cleaning in defense 
of then personal space. Also, since Bob is a playful chimp, he tries to 
"help" the cleaners by grabbing their mops or running off with their 
tools. This is w here Bob and his friends get their first beatings of the 
day. Any behavior considered "improper" during the morning clean- 
ing is promptly "punished." Bob gets punched in the back or kicked in 
the head when he does something the cleaners think is wrong. Bob is 
two years old. 

After cleaning. Bob and his cage mates are left alone for a few 
hours. Sometime in the afternoon Bob will leave his cage for a train- 
ing session. The trainers sit Bob down on a rock or stool and ask him 
to perform. If he does the trick right, he is rewarded with verbal praise 
and a jellybean or other small treat. If he does it wrong, he is yelled 
at and told to try again. If he continues to do it wrong, the trainer 
will grab him and force him to do it. Bob screams in fear when this 
happens 1 le's really too young to be required to pay such close atten- 
tion. He's very similar to a human two-year-old: playful, curious, and 
rambunctious. He doesn't want to sit still and do boring behaviors. 
He wants to run around and explore and play. If he does this, though. 
he gets beaten. If he runs away during a training session, his trainers 
throw rocks at him and yell at him until he comes back. 

Alter his training session. Bob is given some "playtime" to ex- 
plore and interact w ith his cage mates. He is tied up on a leash and 
allowed to play for a little while. If he does anything wrong, though, 
he'll get beaten. If he tries to run off, he'll get punched or kicked. If 
he bites someone, which is one of the ways baby chimps play with 
each other, he will definitely get punched. So playtime isn't really that 
much fun for Bob. 

Around 4:00 p.m.. Bob and his cage mates gel dinner. Alter 
another quick cage cleaning, the trainers go home. Bob doesn't go 
to sleep until it gets dark 
outside He and his cage 
mates are left alone from 
5:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. 
the next day. Bob some- 
times wraps himself up 
in a blanket and siis there 
rocking back and forth, 
staring blankly He looks 
like someone in a psy- 
chiatric hospital He is so 
mentally and physical!) 
brutalized thai sometimes 
the most comforting thing 
he can do is tune oul 

Some class. Hob 

iiiusi go on an acting job 

He is taken from his 
and chanced into pieit\ 
looking clothes so la- 




looks "cute." Bob is put into a dog carrier or small wooden cage in the 
back of a big van and driven to the set. When they arrive. Bob gets a 
quick "tune-up" from his trainer. Tune-ups sen e to remind Bob that if 
he misbehaves, he'll be sorry. The trainer tunes Bob up by yelling at 
him. taking a brush and jabbing him with it. or pinching and poking 
him. This is scary for Bob but he knows his trainers "mean business" 
so he tries to act "good." He knows if he doesn't he'll get beaten, just 
like w hat happens at home on the compound. 

The set can be very scary for Bob. There are all sorts of new 
sounds, new people, and big equipment. Bob wants to look around, but 
he's not allowed to. If he tries to run off he'll get punched. So he clings 
to his trainer. It may look like he really loses his trainer the way he 
hangs on so tightly, but really he's just trying to make sure he doesn't 
get beaten. When the time comes for Bob to act. he's even more 
seared. 1 le might have to hold hands with a stranger. He might have to 
do things he's not comfortable with. He might want to run away so he 
doesn't have to be so scared. But he can't, because he knows he'll get 
beaten. 

This is what I witnessed chimpanzee actors going through, day 
in and day out. I saw trainers punch the chimps in the back, kick them 
in the head, throw their whole bodies into pummeling the chimps 
with their fists. They hit the chimps using rocks, mallets, and sawed 
off broom handles. I once saw a chimp receive a brutal beating with 
a stick; the trainer swung at the four-year-old chimpanzee with the 
force of a baseball swing. I saw evidence of using a cattle prod. The 
chimpanzees are punished for things that are completely beyond their 
control. They are punished for doing things that are completely normal 
chimpanzee behaviors. 

The abusive treatment really takes its toll. Some exhibit signs 
of psychological distress called "stereotypies." the most common of 
which I witnessed was rocking. They'll gather up some blankets, or 
grab onto each other, and rock back and forth. When they do this, they 
seem a million miles away and it's very difficult to get their attention. 
It's really a coping mechanism for them, a reaction to their experi- 
ences, and it's quite disturbing to see. Other signs of distress are more 
covert. Sometimes the chimps get obsessively attached to a certain 
object and it becomes like a security blanket. Sometimes they injure 
themselves or pull their hair out. Sometimes they pace back and forth 
endlessly. 

It's important to remember that these chimps are babies, perfectly 
comparable to human babies In the wild, a five-year-old chimpanzee 
— the oldest of the chimps 1 worked with would still be traveling 
around with her mother. The youngest ones, the two-year-olds, would 
be riding on their mothers' backs and dependent on them for all of 
their needs. Imagine subjecting your two-year-old child to the things 

I saw these chimpanzees go 
through daily. Imagine learn- 
ing that children were not just 
being forced into strenuous 
work regimes, but that two- 
to five-year-olds were being 
pounded in the head by the 
closed tlsi and all the might of 
a 2 '0-pound man 

\\ hat goes on at entertain- 
ment chimpanzee training 
facilities is so horrifying that, 
when 1 share mv experiences, 
people ask if it is an isolated 
case Ihcv're shocked and 
appalled at how this can be 
done to babies who want noth- 
ing more than to forage in the 
wild with their mothers Sadly, 
these tenibl) abusive training 



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Frankly, it is impossible to train chimps to be in television 
and motion pictures without abusing them. It's simply not 
interesting enough to a young chimpanzee to sit still and 
pay attention for long periods of time. The only way to 
train them is to use fear: if chimpanzees are constantly 
in abject fear of physical pain, they will pay attention, 
learn tricks, and perform on cue. 



practices have been so natural- 
ized by the industry that they are 
not only common but the rule. 
There are only about four major 
chimpanzee training facilities 
and they work together closely. 

I visited two of the other 
compounds and saw the same 
red flags I saw at the compound 
where I worked. I took classes 
at the school that turns out 
many of today's trainers, and it 
was part of the curriculum that 
chimpanzees must be beaten in 
order to perform. Dr. Fouts has 
seen trainers carrying hot shots 
(small cattle prods). He also 
notes. "I've had trainers tell me 
the best way is the two-by-four 
technique — to hit them for 
reason." referring to a method 
of chimpanzee training that in- 
volves beating the chimps with 
two-by-four boards. Famed 
primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall 
explains. 'The trainers want to 
establish a relationship based on 
fear so that they get instant obe- 
dience, and there are various methods. One that I've been told about 
is an iron bar. but it's surrounded by newspaper. . .then on the set, you 
just need a rolled-up newspaper." I've had trainers that I witnessed 
abusing chimpanzees tell me about other trainers they considered to 
be brutally abusive. 

People often ask how someone could possibly do something so 
unconscionable. Unfortunately, the system is so ingrained that train- 
ers and their staff don't think to question it. The staff members are not 
experts in animal behavior — and as obvious as it is that this treatment 
is absolutely abnormal, obedience to authority is a powerful social in- 
fluence — so they do as they are told. Chimpanzees endure abuse for 
running off or doing a behavior wrong, and the logic for beating them 
is they need to be punished for "acting out" so they won't do it again. 
The point that is missed on many trainers and their staff is if the chimps 
weren't in these uncomfortable, unnatural situations, against their will, 
they wouldn't be "acting out." They'd just be acting like chimps. 

Frankly, it is impossible to train chimps to be in television and 
motion pictures without abusing them. It's simply not interesting 
enough to a young chimpanzee to sit still and pay attention for long 
periods of time. The only way to train them is to use fear: if chimpan- 
zees are constantly in abject fear of physical pain, they will pay atten- 
tion, learn tricks, and perform on cue. As a primatologist. I believe 
this is the only way to train a chimpanzee for Hollywood. This may 
seem contradictory to the "no animals were harmed" tag at the end of 
many major motion pictures. But the Film and Television Unit of the 
American Humane Association (AHA), the organization responsible 
for this disclaimer, by their own admission, has no jurisdiction over 
the training compounds. 

Earlier this year, Karen Rosa, director of the AHA Film and Tele- 
vision Unit confessed to National Geographic's Jennifer Hile, "We 
would love to be in a position to certify training compounds, recom- 
mend some while blacklisting others, but we don't have the funding 
or the jurisdiction." But without access to the compounds, the AHA 
is not present during any training, which is where the majority of the 
abuse occurs. They aren't always present on-set — Rosa also admitted 
they don't police the majority of reality shows, talk shows, or com- 
mercials. If Rosa admits the AHA has no jurisdiction over the phase of 



production that results 
in the most abuse, how 
can the organization in 
good conscience give 
their "no animals have 
been harmed" stamp of 
approval? Bob Barker, 
star of The Price Is 
Right, believes that you 
simply can't trust the 
AHA disclaimer. "You 
cannot accept that," 
he told Vancouver Sim 
writer Nicholas Read 
in 2001. "When you 
see animals in pictures, 
you are putting them at 
risk." 

Chimpanzee "ac- 
tors" don't have much 
to look forward to in re- 
tirement, either. Chim- 
panzees are more than 
five times stronger than 
humans. Chimpanzees 
in captivity can live 
well into their 60s and 
sometimes even 70s. 
But by age six or seven, an entertainment chimp becomes too strong 
to control and has to stop "acting." So the next 50 years will either 
be spent as a breeder, producing offspring who will immediately get 
taken away and put into the training cycle, or in another substandard 
facility. One trainer dumps chimps at a roadside zoo in Texas which 
was recently the subject of an investigation that revealed horrifying 
violations of state and federal animal welfare codes. 

Trainers say they "work" chimpanzees. "Working" a chimpanzee 
is not work at all, but painful, degrading exploitation of our closest kin 
for human entertainment. Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker 
has said, "The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They 
were not made for humans any more than black people were made for 
whites or women for men." There is no compromise. Chimpanzees 
shouldn't be used in movies, television, or commercials at all. The 
only answer is abolition. The cost to them is too great. Not only does 
the industry contribute to the abuse of countless individuals, but it 
also comes at a cost to the species. Using them in "cute" or "funny" 
roles makes a mockery of them and masks the critical nature of their 
endangerment in the wild. Chimpanzees and their habitats are disap- 
pearing at an alarming rate, and putting them on a talk show or in a 
beer commercial is irresponsible. 

Fortunately, there are a growing number of people in the entertain- 
ment industry who agree that this abuse must stop. After working with 
various animals (including a chimpanzee) in Being John Malkovich, 
Cameron Diaz said, "I won't do movies with animals anymore. I'm 
an actor by choice. A dog is not an actor by choice." Although the 
campaign to stop this abuse is young, a growing number of producers, 
writers, directors, and actors are pledging not to be involved with any 
production involving chimpanzees. This movement has been spear- 
headed by an organization I work with, the Chimpanzee Collaboratory 
(www.chimpcolIaboratory.org). It's a ground-up campaign, because 
the major studios are hesitant to make any sort of strong statements, 
instead relying on the AHA ( w hich admittedly is powerless) to ensure 
the animals are well eared for. Things will only start to change when 
the individuals who make Hollywood tick defend chimpanzees and 
their well-being. ■& 



CJl 






MICRANOTS 

INTELLIGENCE 




Minneapolis-St. Paul is the home of Rhymesayers Entertainment 
(RSE), a nationally renown, independent Hip-Hop label/collective 
that developed in the mid '90s. Rhymesayers lias since fostered the 
grow ih of the Midwest scene with artists like Atmosphere, I os \ati- 
vos, Musab, Eyedea& Abilities, and Brother Ali V all legends in their 
own right. Springing forth from this MPLS-based pack are visional} 
pioneers, Micranots. This unified duo consists of DJ Kool Akiem. the 
production architect and master of sonic imager) and storytelling, and 
\l( I Self Devine, the conscious professor and speaker o\ truth, en- 
lightenment, and tangible content following the release of their album 
Obelisk Movements in 2000 (by and large one of the most impressive 
Hip-Hop releases of our time) on the Subverse label. Micranots signed 
wuh RSI m 2002. I he\ have since re-released then first full-length. 
Return o/ the Travellahs, and m February premiered the conceptual 
follow-up to Obelisk Movements entitled The Emperor <S the Issas- 
sin, I spoke w ith I Self De\ ine in earl) 1 cbruar\ \ la telephone and the 

interview that follows is an abbreviated version of that dialogue 



Samuel Pixley talks with 

MC I Self Devine 



! 

i 
J 



Clamor; What sparked your interest to he 

an \/( ' 

I Self Devine: Basicallj 1 would say that the 

movemenl in general is what inspired me I 
mean prior to Hip-Hop. we were listening to 
all of the things that hip-hoppers were bom 
from. you know, reggae, funk, disco, rock. 
\ikI so when the phenomenon spread. I was 
right there and I was young. To me. Hip-Hop 
is prettj much everything, it's the attitude and 
it transcends You know. I'm 31 years of age 
and I've been participating whole-heartcdh 
since '~ l > I'm a teacher but I'm also a stu- 
dent, and I'm equalK both. 

Would you consider yourself an MC tor the 
working i lass ' 

Definitely I'm an average dude. you know I 
have two kids and tor me to be able to make- 
do. I have to constant!) supplement I or the 
most part. I've always had a job Hut it's 
wend, because the n>bs that I have to take are 
often temp |obs Because 1 need a job that I 
can leave if I'm touring with m) music And a 



lot of times when you let employers know that 
you're a musician, they're not going to want 
to mess with you anyway because they're 
trying to run their business. And when you're 
in these factories, you have union situations 
where you have a hierarchy. I've had a lot of 
jobs where I've been able to use my physical 
strength and there's no question that I'm able 
to do that. Now I want to be able to use my 
mind. So now I do a lot of freelance teaching 
of Hip-Hop art. which is the tenet of Hip-Hop 
broken down into collages, having reference 
points of people and artists. That's what I do 
now. but it's never been where this shit can 
cover my whole financial situation. And so 
for me. I'm trying to create that which I ha\ e 
not seen which is suitable for myself in terms 
of what I'm trying to accomplish in life. 

Right, which is what I think we're all ulti- 
mately striving for at our own pace. There 
are a lot of people in the music industry that 
are more entertainers than educators. What 
I really appreciated most about Obelisk 
Movements when I heard it. aside from DJ 
Kool Akiem's production, was what you were 
professing on the mic. Have you ever had any 
regrets about your lyrical content? 

I do have some regrets but these regrets are 
more about the way in which the course of 
music goes. Kind of like how America eats 
itself, so does each genre. For me, the Obelisk 
Movements should have come out in 1988. 
Because there was not a lot of music com- 
ing out then, and there was not a lot of other 
diversions in life, like video games and such. 
I feel that that album was very dense, and it 
was created that way purposely. We didn't 
want to compromise at that point in time, and 
we wanted to make an album strictly for the 
heads, to where you could listen to it years 
down the line and still hear something that 
you didn't hear previously. But beyond the 
content of my music, I'm an MC. And an \1( 
has the job of handling tire. You have to be 
able to create your own hype, but you cannot 
believe in your own hype. 

For me, I don't lose sight. I don't see 
myself as an activist, even though there are 
some things that I do off-record that can fall 
into that category. So where I'm at right now, 
I've been putting together a formula that I 
feel will be able to reach many people with- 
out compromising the material. 

How do \ ou feel like you 've been received 
on-stage? 

I would say that even on this last tour, some- 
times I felt out of place in terms of speaking 
to people that maybe didn't necessarily want 
to hear it. Also being that most of the crowd 
was white, maybe what I said would have 
been more accepted coming from Eminem. 



As an MC, we get caught up in a certain box, 
and for me I don't want to be caught up in that 
box. That's why it's very important for each 
release that I deal w ith to show some type of 
progression, but to be able to try and break 
the mold every time. 

So in working with Rhymesayers, do you feel 
like Micranots have complete control over 
their releases? 

Realistically, it's pretty much a co-op. man. 
We handle our projects the way we want to 
and they're cool with it. What they'll do is 
basically voice their opinions. We all don't 
necessarily agree, but everybody has full 
integrity. It's not like, "Yo, pull the plug on 
that!" Everybody is pretty much account- 
able for themselves. If you don't move to 
push your shit, then your shit doesn't move. 
I think that the whole purpose is to get with 
motivated people who have a vision and see 
where they want to go. 

Are you registered to vote, and do you exer- 
cise that right'.' 

I have not exercised that right, and I've been 
around people who thought it was just blas- 
phemous, like a crime or something. They'd 
be like, "I can't believe it. how could you 
not want to make a difference, and how- 
can you complain about things that 
occur if you don't stand up'.'" I 
realize many of my people 
have died for the right to 
vote. But now I feel like 
the actual process of Not- 
ing is like sugar water, it's 
placebo. It's designed to 
make us feel like we do 
have power. Maybe on a « 
smaller scale it works, but ^CT. 

otherwise it's like they've got *fffi 

their candidates determined long * • 
before the voting begins. For me, I 
don't believe that it's effective because they 
got the shit on lock; it's a circle, inside of a 
circle, inside of a circle, and the motherfuck- 
ers in the center know everything. 

The revolutionary tone of Micranots releases 
continues to be an inspiration to a lot of folks. 
Where do you think we 're headed? 

I think more than anything what we're doing 
is probably headed toward oblivion. And I 
think the only thing that will save us is the 
Earth cleansing itself. I was rewriting a song 
recently that was talking about money, saying 
that money is not the root of all evil, it's peo- 
ple. And I feel like where we are right now 
in life, there won't ever be a Utopia. There 
has to be some negative to counter the posi- 
tive. I don't think everybody would want to 



live in an ultimately positive world. In terms 
of some grand revolution. I think that the 
revolution of change happens on a very small 
scale every day. It happens with that tree that 
falls in the forest that nobody hears, and it's 
the big crash that smashes into a storefront. In 
America, if we were to have an armed revolt, 
it would be very hard because we just don't 
have the resources. It'd have to go deeper 
than that. Pound for pound, you can't really 
go up against what you don't have the neces- 
sary resources to undo. 

So for me, I'm on a personal quest. Each 
day I'm trying to be a better father, a better 
man, a better brother, and to be able to share 
the knowledge and the wisdom that I have. 
The thing that I feel is my best asset is work- 
ing with these kids through art to be able to 
provide them w ith different avenues. A lot of 
times I'm going to these schools that with all 
this gentrification are way out in the 'burbs. 
One of the places I've been working at. the 
county had gotten sued for not having a di- 
verse enough curriculum, so they brought us 
in there. And to an extent that can be seen as 
a token. You know, let's bring in some urban 
shit to appease the financiers or whatever. 
Regardless of the situation. I come in there 
just how I dress on the street, and I give these 
kids many different opportunities and visions 
to see a black man doing something else 
beyond sports and rappin". And by dress- 
ing like them, they can identify 
and know that I'm not putting 
on a costume, so therefore 
there's a connection. With 
a lot of our people and 
in general with 
a lot of males, 
«^' we just don't 

fc? stick around with 

J§5L our offspring, our kids. 
So a lot of times I get a 
lot of these young broth- 
ers that gravitate toward me 
because they're not getting that 
energy at home. And when you take on 
this job, there are a lot of other things that 
come with it, like social work. You may 
think, "Damn. I just wanted to come in and 
do this art!" But then you might find your- 
self mediating between families, between 
principals and pigs. You never know. So for 
me, that's where my change comes in, being 
able to reroute some of these kids. Because 
you know how the prison systems are, and 
I don't want to send out these kids to get 
slaughtered. But, at least for our youth. I'm 
like, what can I really offer them these days? I 
just feel in general that the American popula- 
tion isn't as informed as it should be and I feel 
like in my position, 1 have to be very care- 
ful in terms of how I drop that information. 

An extended version of this interview is online 
at www. clamormagazine. org/issue26. html. 




*«rt«» 



,v 



en 

CO 




What's Your Passion? 



Stella Meredith Must Shawn Granton 



So, you're in a bar or a coffeehouse, at a church social or 
a political meet-up. You meet a person who attracts you. 
Maybe it's the shoes. Maybe it's the vocal timbre. Maybe 
it's the fact that this person is in a place you enjoy, a good 
sign of compatibility. The conversation lags a little and 
you fill in the gap. "So what do you do for work'.'" 

You just blew it 

Suddenly, the conversation takes a mundane turn 
icky bosses, too many hours or too many cutbacks, 
boredom, toxic en\ ironments. Hindrance upon hindrance 
to the things you really want to do. Of course, there are 
people who are "working" at "jobs" they really love, but 
far too often "work" is considered one of the biggest set- 
backs to the fulfillment of dreams. 

When someone asks what you do for work, what 
the) really mean is "What do you do for money?" Y\ h\ 
do we ask strangers how they get cash? What kind of a 
premise is that to build a new friendship? Do we spend 
so much time making money, and so little time following 
our dreams, that our cash-chasing defines us more than 
what we are passionate about? 

Despite what some may think, the word "work" w as 
not always synonymous with the daily grind! 

It could be said that everything we do is work, but 
not everything we do is monetarily rewarding. Techni- 
cally, eating a sandwich is work; I don't define myself 
as a sandwich-eater. When I answer the "what do you 
do" question honestly, people are genuinely confused. 
Saying that I'm a writer leads them to assume that I'm a 
published writer. I can say I'm "working" on a novel or 
on a scries of illustrations. This is literally what I do with 
most ofmj time. Yet people would not consider that what 
I do for work. They want to know how I make a living. 

\\ hen I tell them how I live, they're still confused. If 
I tell them 1 work in a backpacker's hostel, people assume 



I am paid to do so. When I explain that I'm 
not paid but earn my rent by helping maintain 
the facility, lots of people ask if I'm looking 
for a job. I have a job! I just don't get paid in 
dollars to do it. 

Let's say I work 15 hours a week at the 
hostel, and the average rent for a place com- 
parable to my housing in this area is S400 a 
month. That would mean I get paid around 
S6.70 an hour to do general housekeeping and 
reception duties part time. Are you bored > et '.' 
Of course you are! Whj would anyone I just 
met want to hear the abstract details of my 
rental arrangement? 

When I meet people. I want to know 
what makes them tick. I don't need to know 
the details of their lifestyles right off the bat; 
I just want to know what kind of people they 
are. New meetings would be much more hon- 
est and interesting if we acknowledged these 
things: 

— What we do for money does not 
define who we are 

— Even. thing we do is work 

— Work is not a bad thing 

I propose a new ice-breaker: "What's 
your passion?" Art, music, old cars, botam ? 
Do you spend every free minute volunteering 
at the librarv ? Are \ ou sa\ ing monev to study 
comparative religion in Japan? Do you dream 
of travel, growing roses, sculpting a master- 
piece.' So. what's your passion'.' 

What do you "do, perform, or practice" 
that makes you truly happy? ~tt 



REVIEW ANNING THE FLAMES 



The Fire This Time: 

Young Activists and the New Feminism 

Edited by: Vivien Labaton, Dawn Lundy Martin 
Anchor Books 
wwwanchorbooks.com 
wwwthirdwavefoundation.org 

Feminism needs a makeover. At least, that's so accord- 
ing to The Fire This Time Young Activists and the New 
Feminism Or perhaps, not so much a makeover as an 
expansion, a way of revamping it, revolutionizing it. The 
Fire This Time offers us a stew of essays that gives us a 
briefing of this expansion, ideas ranging from critical think- 
ing on hip-hop music to independent media to the pnson 
system to globalization What feminism needs, according 
Fire's wnters, is to cross all boundanes of oppression To 
gain strength in the feminist movement, feminist activists 
need to embrace issues such as sexism, homophobia, 
racism, and classism. Though I think most feminist activ- 
ists would say that is. indeed, what they HAVE been doing 
all along, feminism in general, as a concept, has not been 
thought of, or treated by the mainstream audience, as an 
open movement What feminism needs, according to 
the book, is more The definition of feminism requires a 
change Opening feminism s doors and melting its ngid 
definitions is what it needs to truly gam the power to push 
the movement forward 



I 

E 



">U*6 



As a woman who's considered herself a 
feminist since the ripe age of 10, I've done 
my fair share of reading feminist essays 
and books. The Fire this Time breathes 
new life into old feminist ideals and 
gives us new perspectives to work with 
and think about. Reading this book 
reminded me of reading Listen Up 
Voices from the Next Generation, 
edited by Barbara Findlen, when 
I was 15, a book which provided 
essays full of vigor, and voices I 
wasn't used to hearing. It was 
an enlivening, exhilarating 
experience to read these 
essays as a disillusioned 
teen, revving me up inside 
about things to come, about a 
revolution that was taking place, moving us 
forward. 

The Fire This Time provides the same hopefulness 
and urgency to act Fire does a good job of tackling its 
sundry issues, each very different from one another, but 
which weave into one another's stitches nonetheless 
The essays seem interlaced instead of scattered and 
disjointed, which seems to be exactly the book's overall 
theme, feminism is a quilt of many patches instead of one 



THE 



THIS 




solid blanket. Once this concept is 
realized, feminism can truly 
be embraced and treated 
accordingly, becoming a 
more encompassing, open 
movement, creating some- 
thing that everyone can declare 
being a part of Fire is perfect for 
both budding feminists wanting to 
be exposed to new ideas, and 
feminists who have graduated from 
books like Listen Up and Jennifer 
Baumgardner's and Amelia Richards' 
Mamfesta Above all. this book should 
be read by not only progressive activists 
but also those who are cunous about the 
future of the feminist movement, what it is 
today and where it will take us As many 
books of this nature that bnng up issues 
of oppression and social injustices, it's both 
hopeful and heartbreaking, and invigorating 
as it is perhaps unsettling The book is also anything 
but dry: issues are brought up in a new and fresh way that 
make it an unusually quick read, which is exactly what it 
needs to be in order to bust that door wide open. 
■Alison Parker 




Emily Sloan 



Melly Curphy 



No matter how frugally I live, there are always pesky bills (like rent 
— why must a roof over my head cost almost half my salary'.') 
plus I haven't figured out a way to stop eating and stay alive at the 
same time. So like most other people. I've worked full-time for years 
— cleaning dog kennels in the middle of a stinking hot summer, cock- 
tail waitressing in the witching hours, and splashing around in the n\ er 
as a nature camp counselor. One thing I've learned while clocked in is 
that if I'm going to devote over a third of my time to anything, it better 
be intellectually stimulating and purposeful. After all, my will-power 
is easily tempted by sunshine, breezes, and a bicycle to play hooky 
for an afternoon in the park, strangely absent from the giant medical 
center where I currently work as a technician in a genetics laboratory. 
Luckily I find my research on human disease interesting and worth- 
while enough to keep me in the lab, and therefore employed. 

Scientific research can be dull, painstaking, and stressful, but 
beyond the tedium and frustration of daily lab research lurks a seri- 
ous conflict of interests. Not only am 1 a scientist, I am a vegan, and. 
unfortunately, biological research and animal use go hand in hand. In 
choosing my scientific career, I have had to break my own self-im- 
posed rules of not using animal products in any form. 

For the last two years I have w orked in a human genetics research 
lab investigating an inherited disease called Schimke immuno-osseous 
dysplasia (SIOD). Children with this disease will suffer from skeletal 
deformities, growth failure, a weak immune system with T cell defi- 
ciencies, and kidney failure. Very few SIOD patients live past the age 
of 20, and most die before they are 1 years old. The disease occurs 
when a child inherits two mutated copies of the SMARCAL1 gene, 
one copy from each parent. Everybody requires a working copy of this 
gene for survival, although we don't know why a dysfunction SMAR- 
CAL1 protein causes SIOD. Enter my research: When I go to work, 
I design and conduct experiments to understand the function of the 
SMARCAL1 protein and the role it plays in the body. Hopefully our 
research will lead us toward better diagnosis and treatment of SIOD. 

I fully believe in the cause of my research. Who wouldn't agree 
that curing disease is a worthwhile, noble, and important task? Like- 
wise, I fully believe that a vegan lifestyle can have dramatic effects 



on individual and environmental health, and is also a compassionate 
and aware personal choice. I became vegan over two years ago after 
living in Costa Rica, where I was studying organic agriculture and 
sustainable development. 1 saw first-hand the diversity and potential 
of endangered rainforest habitats, as well as the de\astating effects of 
livestock grazing and conventional (chemical-using) agriculture on 
these ecosystems. I also realized how much water and food were re- 
quired to raise animals, and that I could circumvent the entire pathway 
by eating lower on the food chain. After being exposed to such facts, I 
couldn't shut the door on them and live in good conscience. Consum- 
ing animal products in any form contributed to a system I could not 
support. 

From Mice to Men 

My vegan ethics blurred upon entering the lab. I wanted to remain 
100% vegan but could not find a way to do this and stay in biological 
research. Simply put, current methods of scientific research require 
animals. I am not talking about testing cosmetics, shampoos, or drugs 
on animals, which is for the most part unnecessary and cruel. There 
are an increasing number of alternatives to this antiquated practice: 
in vitro experiments using bacteria are becoming more cost-efficient 
than drugging rabbits and rats, cultured human tumor cells are replac- 
ing monkeys and dogs for drug trials and toxicity tests, and sophis- 
ticated computer systems such as HUMTRN can predict the effect 
of drug molecules on the human body without a living model. Many 
medical schools have switched from animal vivisection to computer- 
based models, much to the relief of pound dogs e\erywhere. 

The majority of biomedical research uses animals in two ways. 
First, animals are used as tools for examining the pathology of many 
diseases. Mice and fruit flies are two commonly used organisms, and 
have several advantages over humans for disease research. First, 
their relatively short generation times (only two weeks for fruit flies) 
reduce the time required for genetic experiments. Also, with fewer 
chromosomes, disease research becomes less complex (humans have 
46 chromosomes, fruit flies only four). Their genomes have been com- 



CJ1 

en 



s 



pletelj sequenced, giving scientists a huge 
amount oi' accessible information. Model 
organisms also often share enough similar 
genetic material with humans to accurately 
model disease (the mouse SMARCAL1 pro- 
tein that I research is 72 percent identical to 
the corresponding human protein). Scientists 
can essentially recreate a human disease in a 
mouse by manipulating its genome. Further 
studies can then elucidate the function of a 
protein, studs interacting molecules, or test 
methods for '"rescuing" the mouse from the 
disease, eventually extrapolating the informa- 
tion to humans. Model organisms are a truly 
powerful research tool. 

Sometimes animal testing cannot be 
avoided by law. The Helsinki Declaration 
states that humans should not be used in 
research unless appropriate studies have al- 
ready been conducted in animals. This makes 
the issue of being a vegan biomedical scien- 
tist really tricky. To study SIOD in our lab, we 
use human cell culture, mice, and fruit flies 
to examine the disease from a physiological, 
biochemical, and genetic perspective. The 
data complement each other, but one ap- 
proach cannot replace another. The only way 
to understand how Schimke immuno-osseous 
dysplasia affects children and search for a 
cure is to use animals. What's a vegan scien- 
tist lodo? 

I went to the w ebsites of animal rights or- 
ganizations, which have successfully pushed 
for legislation to reduce mandatory animal 
testing and increase funding for researching 
alternatives, to look for suggestions for how 
compassionate scientists like me could con- 
duct their research. 1 found that, while most 
organizations condemn the use of animals for 
disease research, they offer few alternatives 
for this crucial endeavor. The American Anti- 
Vmsection Socictv (aavs.org) suggests that 
scientists can "abstain from animal research 
by pursuing scientific endeavors that do not 
involve animals'" Okay, that sounds like a 
reasonable idea: in fact. I did this myself by 
choosing to work with human cells instead of 
mice or flies. I nfortunatelv. in order to grow 
the cells. I have to supplement them with 
fetal bovine serum And mv protein experi- 
ments on the cells require antibodies derived 
from rabbits and mice, which were killed for 
that purpose Hut I thought I was avoiding 
animals bv working on humans' 

Here we see the second, less obvious 
was that annuals are used lor biomedical 
research their serum, protein, antibodies, and 
tissue turn up all over the lab in an indirect 

.u\i.\ sneak) mannei Keeping in mind thai I 
never work directlv with animals in the lab. 
on a weeklv basis I still use over 10 animal- 

based products in mv experiments on human 

cells It's not casv In find alternative products, 
cither In cell culture, fol example, human 

cells require serum (from blood t to survive 



If the serum did not come from animals, most 
likely raised and sacrificed for that purpose. 
it would have to come from humans. And. 
w ithout getting too far into the ethics of using 
humans for medical research, let's just say 
that would be one giant headache. 

The prospects of eliminating model 
organisms from biomedical research are not 
too bright either. As I said before, they are 
a powerful resource and can give us lots of 
information about disease that we could not 
otherwise collect. Additionally, scientific re- 
search is a conservative and dogmatic field, 
slow to change or accept new methods of 
experimentation. Animal studies are neces- 
sary for research to be considered thorough 
and acceptable for publication. Because of 
the current trend in animal models, even if a 
scientist were able to do high quality research 
without using animal models, her work 
would often not meet acceptable standards 
in a journal and would not be published. And 
in the academic world of "publish or perish." 
where journal articles equal funding and 
tenure, it is hard to challenge the established 
system yet remain inside it. There are no easy 
alternatives to an animal-based approach to 
scientific research. 

Meanwhile. . . 

Working on human disease these last two 
years has forced me to reconsider some of my 
values in terms other than black and white 
In order to choose whether or not to work 
on animals, my ethics went into triage, and 
research came up on top. I sacrificed some 
vegan ideals by working with animal prod- 
ucts in order to conduct research that could 
potentially benefit man) individuals and 
have greater impact on understanding human 
disease as well. 

\\ hen it comes to science and vegan- 
ism, there are few consistencies. At times I 
feel that mv personal values are as indistinct 
and blurry as the Houston skyline on a red 
alert day. The scientific community doesn't 
necessarily condone compassionate science 
either, so I don't get much support in my 
dailv working environment. I definitelv ^\o 
not know anv other vegan scientists, though 
this may he more a feature of Texas than 
one of scientists in general. I wonder if other 
sine! vegans would accept animal research if 
it were for the '"greater" cause of curing dis- 
ease Because, like it or not. animals and their 
products arc used everywhere in medicine, 
from preliminary research to the tin vaccines 

you get in the winter. As I have found, it's in- 
credibly hard to be a purist It w ill take a long 
time, if ever, before animals are eliminated 
from science and alternative methods become 
affordable and acceptable enough to use ■& 



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David Bacon 

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The sins of the father... 



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...shall be visited upon the son. 



• THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER THE PAST ARE JUST AS INEPT AS THOSE WHO REPEAT IT • 




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f 





Tobey Grip finds purpose and 

distraction in a prison work program 

that teaches rather than exploits 

prison workers. 



E 



"Hey, Boss."" Tobey Grip calls from under the husk of the 1970 Mus- 
tang in the bodj shop Tobej arrived at the Bolduc Correctional Facil- 
ity, Maine's prison farm, a year ago. after spending oxer three years in 
high-securit) prisons around the state He has ahead) completed the 
M\-month Auto Body program, but has stayed on to help his instruc- 
tor. Brad I)a\is. with the next set of students Working in the shop, he 
says, helps him endure the time that separates him from home. It takes 
his mind off of what's happening without him in the outside world 

Brad crosses the garage and peers under the car. where Tohe> 
lies on the creeper, a drive shaft cradled in his left elbow It's not fil- 
ling into place Once the two agree that the pan is too long. lobe) 's 
legs appear from under the front end. then his chest, and last, his 

head lobe) is 28 years old and has a young, clean-shaven face with 
prominent cheekbones Around the bodj shop. lobes moves with 
purpose, striding from one side to the other to find a tool or consult 
the boss robe) loves to work ami always has He left high school 
earl) to install windshields and storefronts fol Oaks and Parkhursl 

Glass i ompany, a job to which he sa>s he'll return after his release 

\i Bolduc. he pursued the Auto Bod) program with such determina- 
tion thai the administration allowed him to skip the waiting hst and 

enter three weeks after his arrival 



, 



Though Bolduc is tamer and offers more programs than the 
"supermax' where Tobey was before, it is still a prison. You cross the 
front lawn, use the bathroom, attend class, eat lunch, and the guards 
are watching. They informally count you even' hour on the hour: they 
formally count you six times a day: 

All prisoners will be in their assigned rooms for formal 
counts and remain there until the officer conducting the 
count releases them. Neither your body nor your time is 
yours. You, your room, and your property are subject to 
search by staff at any time. Searches may be conducted with 
or without the prisoner present. The rules dictate everything 
you do and everywhere you go. Prisoners may sit at, but not 
on, picnic tables at appropriate times, but may not "hang 
out " outside the housing units or Admin. Building. Sunbath- 
ing is allowed only after work hours and on weekends/holi- 
days on the grass directly behind the Admin. Building. 

Tobey is 18 months away from home. He's serving a six-year 
sentence for nearly beating his uncle to death. He becomes subdued 
when he talks about the incident. "A few people know," he says, "and 
that's about it. 1 really don't talk much about it." His words come 
slowly, and silence creeps between his sentences. He crinkles his 
brow and looks down at his hands. Tobey 's uncle — his father's foster 
brother — sexually abused a member of his family, and when Tobey 
found out, he confronted his uncle. "I went over there, got in a fight 
with him. and probably fought a little longer than I should have." he 
recalls. "But it just happened so fast, and you get so mad, and the 
next thing you know, emotion just takes over, and before you know it. 
you've gone too far." 

Because the authorities didn't know whether his uncle would live 
or die — and whether to try Tobey for assault or murder — he did not 
go on trial for about a year after the assault. After se\ en months, the 
uncle finally emerged from his coma. Tobey says that if he were in 
the situation again, he would most likely do the same thing. His uncle 



had molested somebody before, gone to jail, gotten out, and had done 
it again. "Somehow, you've got to break that chain," he says. "The 
system can't do it, and there was no other way, and that was the only 
way I knew how to do it," he continues. "I myself don't feel like I did 
anything wrong, and nobody in my family feels like I did anything 
wrong. It was something that had to be done, unfortunately." 

Though prison has not affected Tobey 's sense of justice, it has 
changed his character in other ways. Working in the Auto Body shop, 
Tobey says, has boosted his self-confidence. It has given him pride in 
his work and taught him patience. Since he has taken on the role of 
shop assistant, he feels more comfortable interacting with others. He 
has become more introspective as well. "I've learned a lot about my 
feelings, and I think a lot more about things than I did before," he says. 
"I definitely think about life a lot more, because a lot of stuff out there 
you take for granted." 

In the tiny bedroom that he shares with three other men, Tobey 
opens the doors of his locker and pulls a photo album from a shelf. He 
turns to snapshots of a beaming brown-haired boy, his five-year-old 
son Matthew, born to his girlfriend a month after he landed in prison. 
"He's my little pride and joy. my little buddy," says Tobey, grinning. 
"He's so full of life, it's crazy." 

Tobey says that he and Linda haven't yet explained the concept 
of prison to their son: they're waiting until Tobey 's out and settled at 
home. Meanwhile, Matthew thinks that his father is at work. "Last 
night, he w as like, 'How much longer are you going to work — a mil- 
lion-trillion hours?'" he says. "He don't understand why I can't be at 
home when he wants me to be. He's like, 'I'm so ready for you to get a 
new job.'" When Tobey was in a prison bounded by razor wire, Linda 
did not bring Matthew to visit, but since he has been at Bolduc, they 
have come almost every weekend. 

At the end of this past September, Tobey and Linda married 
among the paperbacks in the Bolduc library. Their 20-minute cer- 
emony included his parents, her mother, their son, and a few flowers. 
Tobey points to a picture of himself and Matthew standing side-by- 




side alter the ceremony. "He had to have his hair spiked up, and we had to have identically 
matching outfits. - ' he remembers. "Our sweaters were a little different." he adds, "and he 
wasn't happy about that. He wasn't happy at all." Matthew started feeling better about the 
situation after Tobey pointed out that he could use his extra pocket to hold the wedding 
rings. 

Soon alter his 24-hour honeymoon furlough, Tobey returned to his prison bedroom — 
to his lower bunk, boron-soaked foam mattress, and clear plastic alarm clock that exposes 
its wires and anything hidden inside. He returned to the tidy stacks in his metal locker and 
his plastic shower sandals arranged neatly on the linoleum tiles beneath his bed. He returned 
to his world within the world, where rules and routines keep life constant. "I'm here, in one 
spot. Everything's the same." he ruminates. "Out there, everything's all revolving. There's 
constant change. And when you go back, you're just in awe." 

Stars pierce the black sky above Bolduc, but inside a bright cedar-scented craftroom. 
inmates hammer, saw, sand, and paint their way through what might otherwise be a dull. 
endless evening. Among the workbenches, Miss Maine model boats, log cabin bird feeders, 
wooden dogs on wheels with strings, cedar hangers, and sailor's knots lie in various stages 
of completion. Tobey dials his combination into the padlock on locker #30. He swings wide 
the wooden door beneath his space at the workbench and pulls out one of his scallop-shaped 
boxes, which matches the size of his outspread palm. Tobey sells his finished boxes for SI 2 
each in the Maine State Prison Showroom in the nearby town of Thomaston. He can earn up 
to $10,000 in a year, which he'll use to support himself after his release. 

As the sun rises over the ocean, sets over the pasture, and rises once again, and as the 
snow falls, melts, and falls once more, Tobey moves closer to what's out there beyond the 
Bolduc Correctional Facility, beyond Cushing Road, and beyond Warren, Maine. He moves 
closer to the house he knows, the family he loves, and time that is all his own. He can't wait 
to move in w ith his wife, teach his son to ice skate on frozen ponds near the house, and eat 
hot ham and cheese sandwiches whenever he wants. Until then, he stays put in prison. He 
studies dent repair and welding, builds scallop boxes and wooden ships, and avoids breaking 
the rules and being sent back to the supennax. ft 




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(Mll/W> 



Chris Abani 




rice 




Tess. Lotta 



Two years after the publication of his first novel Masters of the 
Board. Chris Abani was arrested and imprisoned for six months. 
It was 1985, the year the Nigerian writer turned eighteen. He was 
accused by the regime in Nigeria of masterminding a political coup. 
The plot of his novel — a thriller about the return of the Third Reich 
— was suspected of supplying the blueprint. Two years later Sirocco, 
his second novel, was published. He was arrested for sedition and 
sentenced to a year in Kiri-Kiri, a maximum-security prison in Lagos. 
After his release, Abani began his studies at university and was ar- 
rested once again in 1990 after the performance of his play Sung for 
a Broken Flute. The performance was attended by a head of state, 
and this time Abani was sentenced to death for treason. He spent over 
a year at Kiri-Kiri, much of it in solitary confinement. Concerned 
friends were eventually able to bribe prison officials and secure his 
escape. Abani moved to London where he continued to write and 
publicly challenge the regime. In 1999 he fled to America after his 
neighbor — the only other Nigerian in his London apartment build- 
ing — was murdered. Abani feared it was a case of mistaken identity. 

Chris Abani now lives in Los Angeles where he teaches, writes, 
and is earning a Ph.D. in English literature at University of Southern 
California. GraceLand, his latest novel, was published by Farrar, Straus, 
and Giroux in early February of this year. His literary resume shows 
several awards for works of fiction and poetry, including the prestigious 
Pen USA West Freedom to Write Award, which he won in 2001. His 
work inches away from the images of the past, but the history remains. 

Abani was born in Nigeria to an English mother and Nige- 
rian father. Daphne's Lot (2003), a highly personal book of po- 
etry, draws from his family life. Daphne, the book's protagonist, is 
a characterization of Abani's mother, a woman who struggled with 
dual enculturation. It explores, among many things, racism, the 
Nigerian-Biafran civil war, love, family, masculine constructions, 
the epic as a form, as well as the very construction of the truth. 

"I know nothing of truth." the narrator laments in the book's first 
poem "'Only a Small Prayer," in which the narrator works to unite truth 
and memory for the remainder of the work. Daphne's experience sup- 
plies the validation: 

Her parents had not met any black men until 
Michael V purple-black sheen and easy smile: 
Grampy said it reminded him oj that other black 
fella with the trumpet. And granny — little eth — 
heating and reheating the spread 'cause 
"They like hot food, " until the tea was sharp enough 
to cut and cucumber sandwiches 
peeled away, like pages curled from use. 

"The whole idea of truth is called into question from the first line . . . [Yet] 
as a Black writer you must occupy the real," Abani 'stone is faintly sar- 
castic. "You are not allowed to occupy the imagined. I based Daphne's 
Lot on facts, on aspects of my story — or else I would have written an 
autobiography. But art, by its use, modifies things. You have to go be- 
yond your specific circumstance to find something essentially human 
that allows other people... to plug into a universal idea of humanity." 

continued next page 



£ 



Universality is a heavy literary burden in these times 
of personal technology products and instant video gratifica- 
tion. It is tOO abstract, too length) of a concept to he bothered 
with. Privilege may make it difficult lor to some to relate to 
GraceLanefs protagonist. Ilvis Oke, a boy whose dreams 
are trapped by a horrific hie in a Lagos ghetto. Oke survives 
a hostile family environment, as well as the violent aspects 
of his culture, one imbrued with the products of American 
popular culture. The union of Western images of excess and 
hardened poverty creates parallel, if ironic, experiences. 

"America has sort of a ( ah inistic patriotism that does not 
allow for a dialogical position." Abani says, "so the irony may 
have a somewhat difficult time surviving [for some readers]. 
Hut I think it has to do with powerful factors of American so- 
ciety. I he very products you and I are able to acquire," Abani 
continues, examining his living room, "means that somebody 
else has to go without. If one is experiencing pleasure, there is 
somebody experiencing pain. In order to continue, capitalism 
tries to east away our guilt by saying, 'They envy our lifestyle.' 
I am trying to expose these narratives of irony in my work, 
not only ironies of the West, but how Nigerian culture absorbs 
Western culture and transforms it into something different." 

Abani has been hailed as one of the best contem- 
porary post-colonial writers: "A watershed moment in 
post-colonial literature." one American critic wrote of 
GraceLand. Although this is good news to Abani, this 
mouthful of a label belies a Western shortsightedness. 

"It is a 'post-colonial' book in the sense that is dealing 
with resistance to colonialism." corrects Abani, "but not in 
the colonialism that conceives that we [Nigerians] are former 
British subjects. It explores [colonialism] in terms of what 
is happening today, which is this global whiteness that at- 
tempts to engulf the whole world, and how America creates 
its empire through exportation of its myth and mythology. 

"People will always need their shelves to put their post-co- 
lonial literature on." Abani offers a smile, "to show off that the) 
ha\ e post-colonial literature." he reflects on the subtle racism of 
literary categorization. "What I have control over is the internal 
crafting of the work. I can't diss the critics." he says. "I teach 
critical theory, and part of critical theory is that 1 do this to other 
books. I am aware of the process, so I try to write beyond that." 

\i live readings Abani is more casual than his literary 
voice implies. One discovers a 30-SOmething artist, budding 
jazz musician, and humanist with a sharp wit and easy manner, 
lie is usually accompanied by one of his beloved saxophones 
(one of which is named Matilda). It is not uncommon to find 
him sharing the stage with other writer and musician friends 
who join in with voice, turntables, horns, and bass guitars. 
\bani calls these impromptu jazz compositions 'sound poems.' 

"Growing up. my mother played lots of music." Vbani 
explains, "all of mv art has come to me through women 
and has been defined in resistance to men. My father would 
not allow me to learn an instrument because, as a middle 
class Nigerian, musical instruments would lead you to a 
life of music \lv obsession with jazz comes from the 

idea that once you know what you .ire doing, you can do 
whatever the hell you want Ja// does not buy into the 
idea ol exclusivity. It is the mosl non-fascist art form eve;. 

"The most important thing to me," Vbani savs ol his 
work." is how literature builds budges, but." he hesitates foi a 
moment, then smiles. "I think ait in general should do that, or 
does it. rather If you have the ability to articulate, in whatever 
form, then it is incumbent on you to articulate, but you must 
never buv into that ineumhenev Everyone has a valuable Mui\ 
lo tell " li- 




lt was the corpse that did it. 

Luo Kai Ming probably would have staved in the Tianjin sub- 
urb of China's Xiao Ding Village, helping his father and brother 
work as lieldhands digging lotus roots for a local farmer, if he and 
his brother hadn't gone to a nearby pond and happened upon a dead 
body bobbing in the water. The female coqise was wrapped in rags, 
rotted beyond recognition. He and his brother had just drained 
the pond to irrigate the field and unwitting!) revealed the secret 
harbored by the shallow pond he had swum in and drank from for 
months. So the 2 1 -year-old native of Anhui province decided that he 
should explore other career options. 

His brother told him not to look, but Luo. who had alw ay s been 
a somewhat unruly kid, couldn't contain his curiosity. "Once I saw 
it. I was frightened. At bedtime.. .once I closed my eves I'd see the 
dead woman's image." For a week, he couldn't sleep or concentrate 
on his work. What disturbed him most was speculation on how the 
body had gotten there 

"At the time. I had heard that Tianjin people were pretty 
wild... A lot of Xiao Jie (prostitutes) were being killed and their 
bodies were being thrown away." He had only heard rumors until 
that point, but when the dead girl appeared in his field, he began to 
piece together her story: near the farm were several restaurants that 
offered additional "services." The girls who worked in these places 
had nowhere to go. vulnerable to rape and robbery. 

Though he took the corpse incident as a sign. I uo was already 
disenchanted with the area's general lawlessness, particularly 
with regard to migrant workers Not just young girls, but ordinary 
farmhands fell pre\ to coercion and brutality, and in China, rule 
of law is known for being somewhat slippery "Some police might 
say. 'you're just waidiren [migrants from other areas of China]; it 
doesn't matter.'" 

I he body catalyzed 1 no's frustration with the hardships o\' 
migrant farm labor He had tried to work in Shanghai before, but 
hail returned after a month when he discovered that the train- 
ing he had received in Anhui in woodworking and construction 
was inadequate tor Shanghai's competitive market 1 his time, 
however, he was determined to stay "I saw that people who left 
home to work were making ten or twenty thousand RMB (under 
I S $2500) a yeai they seemed pretty happy When they came 
back to celebrate the New Year, they had cash to spend " At other 
times during the year, it's hard lo find anyone in then twenties still 
In mg in the town, most young people have left to work lie knew 
that shanghai, as one of China's largest cities, would also contain 



a startling find causes Luo Kai Ming 
to reconsider his career path 



RELOCATION 



its share of hazards, but it couldn't be any 
worse than Tianjin. 

Moreover, settling in Shanghai was also 
a matter of pride. "In our village, if you went 
to Shanghai and came back after a month, the 
experience would be seen as pointless. ..you'd 
lose face. So the second time I came to 
Shanghai. I had to take advantage the oppor- 
tunities here."' 

After searching for 10 days, he almost 
lost hope, since most migrants turn back if 
they don't find work within two weeks. But 
a friend set him up with a job earning 400 
kuai a month (US$50). doing metal work and 
installation. He's remained at this job ever 
since. He li\es in a tiny dormitory behind his 
metal working shop with three other young 
men from Anhui. One loft bed and two bunk 
beds are squeezed into a tiny space alongside 
a few chairs, shelves, a wok and gas tank for 
cooking outside on the sidewalk, and a crude 
sink. When not blasting metal beams in the 
workshop, they manage to entertain them- 
selves. An old television and VCD player 
form the centerpiece of the room. And Luo 
has recently endeavored to play music w ith 
his roommates. He purchased three wooden 
flutes and a small electronic keyboard so thej 
could practice together. Luo taught himself to 
play flute back in his village, where he would 
ride barefoot on the back of an ox pla\mg 
folk tunes. He also borrowed an English text- 
book and cassette w ith the hope of picking up 
where his grade school education left off. 

Today, the country boy turned migrant 
farmer turned manual laborer is many steps 
removed from his Anhui village. Instead of 
tilling fields or scooping cow dung fertilizer, 
he installs florescent lights in apartment com- 
plexes, fashions shelving units out of sheets 
of metal and plastic behind a corrugated steel 
gate on Song Hu Road, and rides to his job 
sites on a motorized bicycle. 



Michelle Chen 
Sunshine 



With no days off, he seldom returns 
home except during the Chinese New Year. 
His main connection to his home province 
is through a small network of Anhui migrant 
youth who work in local beauty salons, and 
w henever he has a free evening, can be found 
in a salon smoking cheap cigarettes and chat- 
ting in his dialect with lao xiang, friends and 
distant relatives from his home village. The 
comforting language of his childhood allows 
his face, worn rough by construction and farm 
work, to melt into a humble smile, his crows 
feet gathering beneath closely cropped hair 
awash with complementary shampoo lather. 
But on quieter days, or when the weather is 
bad. he finds virtual escape in far comers of 
the country. He hits the wang ha (internet 
cafe) next door, where he can chat in his free 
time with other youth from Sichuan. Jiangsu. 
Hainan Island, and other provinces he will 
probably never \isit. 

It has been seven years since Luo aban- 
doned the lotus fields and their horrible secret. 
I le still shares the hardships faced by migrants 
everywhere in China - financial instability, a 
lack of government benefits, and a cultural 
distance between himself and native urban- 
ites. But unlike in Tianjin, Shanghai offers 
the peculiar safety of a densely crowded city. 
He no longer has to endure the eerie nights 
and unnerving isolation of the interface be- 
tween the quiet countryside and encroaching 
urban sprawl. Shanghai, according to Luo. is 
relatively civilized compared to other Chinese 
cities. "It can be wild, but just not as wild as 
Beijing." Here, at least, he can work peace- 
fully without anyone hassling him for money. 

After the Chinese New Year in January, 
he gathered his saved wages, made arrange- 
ments to leave his boss, and set out to start 
his own repair and installation business His 
plans, however, were abruptly shelved by the 
discouragement of his parents, who want him 




;1 married and settle down in his home 
village. For the older generation, an indepen- 
dent business venture seems risk} and self- 
aggrandi/mg. His mother, supposedly for her 
son's own good, harassed one of his friends 
into taking back the money he promised Luo 
to help him rent a storefront in the city. The 
ambition of seven years of labor had been 
snuffed in moments by a matriarch's iron- 
clad traditionalism. Luo recently went back 
to his hometown to plead with his mother, 
but he fears he is fated to be an underling 
forever. Still, there's always a way out: If he 
can't pursue his hopes in China, his far-flung 
backup plan is to spend his sa\ mgs on a plane 
ticket to a new destination; a friend told him 
that Japan and Korea are hungry for migrant 
workers and you could make much more 
mone\ there than in China. 

But for now. Luo considers Shanghai his 
adopted habitat, if not his captive home. One 
clear afternoon, he borrowed a friend's digital 
camera and took it to his worksite. During a 
break, he snapped pictures of himself in front 
of the Shanghai Gymnasium, the city's main 
stadium. It is one of the many tourist attrac- 
tions that Luo. with his meager salary, can 
only view from the outside while he's on a 
job assignment in the surrounding neighbor- 
hood, the moneyed Xujiahui district. As a 
boy, he spent his afternoons stealing fruit 
from neighboring orchards and dodging the 
teachers at his primitive rural schoolhouse. 
Now, his mischievous streak still peeks 
through his gaunt 28-year-old frame as he 
looks for loose gates at the gymnasium's 
perimeter to sneak in. Striking a pose next 
to golden Roman statues, he seems at plaj in 
the global village, an itinerant laborer riding 
China's economic boom as far as it will take 
him. •& 



2 
to 



The Unlikely Striker 



The Grocery Workers' strike brings out a side of Leilani Clark's mother that she had never seen before. 



2 
f 

E 

m 

o 

s 



The stirrings of strike talk filled the air in Southern California in 
September. 2003. Grocery worker contracts were up and Ralph's 
(Kroger), Vons, and Albertsons, the three major grocery chains in the 
stale, ottered up a joke of a package. They wanted to slash health ben- 
efits along « itli pensions while creating a two-tier wage system which 
would guarantee that new hires could ne\er make as much as current 
employees. In the course of a month, the whisper became a roar and 
there was a strike vote. On October II, 2003, the wave began and Vons 
employees went on strike. In a move of solidarity between the corpora- 
tions. Albertsons and Ralph's locked out their own employees. As of 
mid-February, 70,000 United Food and Commercial Workers (UFC'W) 
remain on strike as negotiations move at a snail's pace with no resolu- 
tion in sight. The reasoning behind the strike is clear. The corporate 
grocer) leaders such as Steve Bird (CEO of Vons Corporation), in an 
attempt to keep up w ith the Jones' known as monolithic Wal-Mart, want 
to alter the state of labor relations in California. The unions are viewed 
as an obstacle to maximum profit potential. 

My mother has been an employee of Ralph's since 1987. She 
began as a deli worker, chopping meats and slabs of cheese for long 
lines of customers. While I suffered through the tribulations of junior 
high school, my mom worked nights and weekends in addition to her 
daytime job at an elementary school so that our family could have ac- 
cess to health benefits (after 
the Reagan administration 
busted unions in the early 
1980s, many laborers, in- 
cluding house painters like 
my father, lost guaranteed 
medical benefits and vaca- 
tion pay). Working in the 
deli was hard on my mom. 
but she did it and eventu- 
ally she was promoted to 
a managerial position in 
that same department and 
often moved from store to 
store. As it cut new hires. 
Ralph's increased the hours 
worked by managers - 50- 
hour work weeks were a 
normal occurrence. I was m college at the time and I remember reading 
an article in the local paper about the CEO of Ralph's Corporation. Ac- 
cording to the storv. he had recently bought the most expensive house 
ever sold in I a Jolla. The house had a 35-car garage and some msanelv 
huge number of bedrooms. He planned on living there with his wife and 
son Mv mom had chapped and bleeding hands, the onset of carpal tun- 
nel syndrome bom usuil' the meal sheer all day, and an exhaustion that 
never reallv passed She lived with us m a two-bedroom house with a 
one-ca 

I mentioned the article to mv mom and she didn't seem to think 
much ot it at the time I hat was just the way things were, was her opin- 
ion \s a result of the stnke. her attitude has changed dramatically. 

" I hese businesses were built on the sweat and blood of their work- 
ers, that is what has built them up over the veais. and ihev have proven 
that thev don't care Most corporations are corrupt and 1 think that 
thev II do just about anv thing to make a buck tor themselves, to exploit 

the working class people, and the) exploit people m foreign countries 

that are working as slaves tor slave wages " 

I hese are the words that come trom mv mother's mouth now 
\s a woman w ho has sacrificed most ol her lite to the raising ot her 
Children anil the happiness ol hei husband, al 53 mv mother has begun 
to find her own voice as a worker, an agitator, and even m\ activist Alter 

spending long hours on the picket line, locked out b> the ver> compan) 




that she has dedicated 17 years of her life to, she entered into a new 
arena of political expression — or at least one that I have not seen her in 
before. 

Picketers have lost medical benefits and thousands of dollars in 
wages. Along with the economic toll, a general sense of depression has 
settled in amongst the strikers as funds dwindle. At the same time, it 
my mom is any sort of representative example, there is an empowering 
know ledge of the importance of standing up to these corporations that 
want to strip employees of any bargaining power. Although thev mav 
not have considered themselves activists before, or even political for 
that matter, grocery workers have been forced into a political tightrope 
game. 

"I liked my job and I felt like we were important to our bosses, 
but since the strike started I realized they don't care anything about 
workers," my mother says. "The only thing thev are about is their stock. 
stockholders, and making profits." 

Life on the picket line hasn't been easy. Strikers have been falsel) 
accused of harassment by "scabs.'' monitored bv the cops, and flipped 
off by speeding drivers. On the other hand, there are customers that 
support the strike and have refused to shop at major grocery chains, in- 
stead patronizing places like Trader Joe's and other smaller businesses 
Locked-out employees are sometimes challenged by Ime-crossers and 
sometimes they initiate the challenge. "Sometimes customers go in and 
stop and make excuses, or they apologize. Some people call us lazy 
and tell us to 'go out and get a job.'" My mother has encountered her 
own confrontations on more than one occasion. It's hard not to w ith the 
mounting frustration combined with the attitudes of some line-crossers. 
"I confronted one man because he had been a regular Ralph's customer." 
she recalls. "He said that not crossing the picket line would not make 
any difference. I told him he could use it as a leaching tool for his son. to 
show him not to cross the picket line. He laughed about it and said that 
he was teaching his son that it was okay to cross a picket line. Some- 
times people say mean things but I just think that thev are naive and 
ill-informed and thev don't understand what is really going on." 

\s the strike moves into its fifth month at the lime of this writing. 
UFCW members are falling into an increasing economic stranglehold. 
Hundreds of thousands have been affected bv this strike. Single mothers 
trying to support their children on one paycheck, people dependent on 
prescriptions who suddenly have no medical insurance, and those who 
cannot find work to supplement the meager strike pav are just a few of 
the common scenarios. Picketing wages have fallen to SI 00 per week 
because the union strike funds have dwindled As a result, mv mother 
was forced to look for Other employment and she is now working almost 
40 hours a week at a local department store while still picketing the 
required 20 hours a week 

"I was one of the luekv ones." she savs "I was able to find work 
A lot of people have not been able to find work Ihev are blacklisted bv 
companies if it is found out thev arc on lockout from Ralph's because 
thev know thev won't be staving It's kind ol a desolate feeling. It's like 
futile attempts at looking for work " 

Hie first week of the strike was filled with excitement and motiva- 
tion but as the strike continues on. the contrast is palpable Mv cousin, 
also an employee of Ralph's, is on strike as well An economic and emo- 
tional struggle has ensued for her as she tries to organize her life in the 
midst of massive job upheaval When mv familv gets together, there is 
always an underlying tension in the air Should we talk about the reality 
of this situation or not' Or just pretend it's not happening' It's a diffi- 
cult choice lo make W hen the strike becomes a topic ol discussion, the 
conversation ends up highlv political and charged with anger And even 
when there is no discussion, it is always hanging over us. in the air. all 
around 

I ven so. I have seen an amazing change take hold within my 
mother as she experiences the emotional and financial tolls of employer 



betrayal. Here is a woman who for the most 
part has lived her life in my father's political 
shadow. As an avowed Trotskyist and dedi- 
cated member of the Spartacist League, my 
father has always carried his politics on his 
sleeve with a proud "fuck you" to the gov- 
ernment. My mother, though quite liberal in 
her political views, has always tended to be 
much more quiet when it comes to state- 
ments on the political environment. It was 
as though she never wanted to go too far 
over the line. This may have been a remnant 
of the generation that she grew up in or just 
part of her interior personality. My father 
has always been so vocal in his demand for 
an armed worker's revolution that my mom 
has probably felt that there was no room left 
for her voice in the political topography of 
the family. I used to attribute my opinionat- 
ed nature to my father but I now realize that 
my mother's quiet inner strength is equal in 
influence. 

The burgeoning anti-corporate stance 
espoused by my mother has been truly 
exhilarating. I have heard the phrase "fuck- 
ing corporation" come out of her normally 
beatific mouth on more than one occasion. 
She lays it all down in a passionate and 
righteously angry manner. "Labor over the 
whole country has to unite and come to a 
halt to make enough of an impact on the 
corporations that they will see that without 
the working-class people this country will 
come to a grinding halt and we are the ones 
that make the country run." she says. 

In December, a friend and 1 went to 
a book reading by political writer Mike 
Davis. My parents had talked about going 
but it was crowded and we couldn't find 
them so we sat down in the front row. After 
the introductions, a qucstion-and-answer 
session began. After somebody brought up 
the UFCW strike which was then in the 
beginning stages, I heard a strong woman's 
voice from the back. I turned around to see 
my mother standing up tall and proud. Each 
person in that audience paid close attention 
to her words as she eloquently and passion- 
ately laid out the details of the strike. How 
could they not? There was so much power 
and knowledge behind what she had to say. 
1 had never seen my mother like that before. 
At the end of her short speech, the audience 
clapped enthusiastically, and my mother 
glowed. She had found her voice. tV 

ed. note: On March 1, 2004, after a two- 
day vote, the United Food and Commercial 
Workers approved a new contract, bringing 
an end to the nearly five-month long strike 
and lockout. Under the new three-year 
agreement, union members will pay no pre- 
miums toward their health care plans in the 
first two years and may have to pay from $5- 
S15 for coverage in the third year. The con- 
tract maintained the two-tier wage system 
for entry-level employees who will receive 
substantially less pay and fewer benefits. 





Mm CM mam, 2 




The Cities 



AnnArbor, Ml 
Athens. OH 
Austin. TX 
Brooklyn. NY 
Denver. CO 
Easthampton. MA 
Gainesville. FL 
GrandRapids. Ml 
Greensboro NC 
Houston. TX 
InlandEmpire. CA 
LosAngeles. CA 
Madison. Wl 
Milwaukee. Wl 
Minneapolis, MN 
Nashville, TN 



NewOrleans, LA 
Oakland, CA 
Olympia. WA 
Pittsburgh, PA 
Portland. OR 
Richmond, VA 
SanFrancisco. CA 
Seattle, WA 
St.Louis, MO 
Syracuse. NY 
Toledo, OH 
Tucson, AZ 
Urbana, IL 
VanWert. OH 
Winona, MN 
Worcester. MA 



This year Clamor worked with amazing people across the country to stage the 
groundbreaking nationwide Clamor Music Festival — featuring over 150 performers 
in 32 cities coming together all on the same night! What follows, in teeny-tiny print, 
is our gigantic thank-you card for making it all happen. Put your magazine down and 
give these folks a hand. These are props well-earned. 

The Performers 





The 
Volunteers 

Adam Hurter 
Allen Harrison 
Amanda Luker 
Andy Grim 

Anne Elizabeth Moore 
Bob Cahill 
Brandon Bauer 
Bryan Funck 
Chris Burnett 
Chris Tracey 
DJ Mega 
Doug Bohm 
Greg Schweizer 
Jason Powers 
Jeff Vandenburg 
Jen Loy 
Jenny Lee 
Jenanne Thompson 
Jethro Ford 
John Rash 
Joshua Medsker 
Karla Lorena Aguilar 
Kayte Young 
Kristina Rizga 
Maggie St Germain 
Mark Sarich 
Martha Riecks 
Matt Roff 
Mike Medow 
Molly McCluskey 
Pete Baldwin 
Rob Monk 
Samuel Pixley 
Sara deAloia 
Sara Helen 
Sheila Bishop 
Tim Rakel 
Tina Bold 
Yael Grauer 
Zoe Swords 



Aaron Carter 

Al Larsen 

All or Nothing HC 

Apollo Up 

Are You Fucking Serious 

Athletic Mic League 

The Axes of Evil 

Baba (Open Thought) 

Bad Folk 

BBQ Kings 

Beat Grrl (DJ Christal) 

Bernie Allen 

Best Friend Suicide Pact 

Beth Simpson 

Big Noise Films 

Bleeding Hickeys 

Blood Of Patriots 

Blood Red Sky 

Booner 

Boxing Water 

Breed/ Extinction 

Breeze Evahflowm 

Brendon 

The Bryan Funck MCs 

Bustin Beats 

Cache 

Caliche Con Carne 

The California Navels 

Campo Bravo 

(cH)evron 

The Childers 

Chip Cruz 

Choke Their Rivers With Our Dead 

Chris Milhausen 

Climbing poeTree 

City Sleep 

Communist Guitar 

Conspiracy of Thought 

David Soto 

Davies Vs Dresch 

Dead Beat Dads 

Desert Rat 

Dialogue Elevaters Crew 

DJ Assfault 

DJEse(DefJux/Embedded) 

DJ Haircut 

DJ Kajika 

DJ Munk 

DJ Sie one 

DJ Z0Z0 

Fear Kittens 

Felonious 

Fields of Industry 

The Fight Within 

Finale 

Five Story Fall 

Forealious 



The Free Radicals 

Freedom Sold 

Hazel Levy 

He Taught Me Lies (HTML) 

The Hellfire Club 

The Highway Matrons 

Hobo Jazz 

lllalogical Spoon 

The Impossible Shapes 

In Museums lex-lntimai 

Industries of the Blind 

Invincible 

Jazio Blaq 

Jean Grae 

JoAnn Riedl 

Johnny Cheapo 

Jon Brion 

Joshua Coast 

Kamau 

Kara 

Kate Pollack 

Kennedy 

Kres 

Lars Din 

Last Call 

Lily 

Lord Finch 

Los Yama 

Losten Found 

The Malcontent Party 

Man at Arms 

Marathon 

Mashup Sound System 

Matt E P 

Mea Culpa 

Mega 

Mezklah 

Miguel Ortega 

Mista J the Titan 

Monsterpuss 

Motion Disorderz Crew 

Murder of Crows 

Myello 

Nakatomi Plaza 

The New Harmful 

New Kevin 

New Kiva Motions Puppetheatre 

Noble Savages 

Nomo 

The No-Name Poetry Collective 

The Nothing 

Oggatron 

One Gram 

Peace Terrorists 

Pegosos 

People Again 

Perfection is a Myth 



Peter Baldwin 

Phoenix 

Piedmont Charisma 

Polyrhythmic 

Poverty & Vixta 

Prozack Turner 

PS I Love You 

The Quicks 

Radical Cheerleaders 

Rebel DJ T (XLR8R Magaz 

Ricanstruction 

Robber Barons 

Ross and the Hellpets 

SaberTooth Tiger 

Sarah Kanouse 

Sarah Kate Albrecht 

Sarai 

Schleprok MC 

School of Accuracy 

7th Street Coincidence 

Sharon Olds 

Shore Leave 

Shotgun Monday 

Shuttlecock 

Sie One 

Signal Drift 

Sine Nomine 

The Skulls 

Small Town Tragedy 

Some Garage Band 

Sounds From Afar 

SourPuss 

Stem Cell Research 

Styles for Modern Living 

Stylex 

Superhopper 

Taste Emcees featuring Armagideon 

Telecast 

Theillaiogicalspoon 

Things Fall Apart 

Those Rotten Beats 

Threnos 

Thunderbirds Are Now 1 

Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganz; 

Triple Eagle 

Turn Around Norman 

Tyde 

USSR 

Uwharna 

Walidah Imansha 

The Whole Fantastic World 

The Whole Sick Crew 

Work 

Xenogia Spoken Word Collective 

Zach Miller 

Zoe Swords 

Zubabi 



The Partners 



Arise Bookstore and Resource Center 

Austin Zine Library 

Big Noise Films 

Capitol Underground Radio 

Civic Media Center 

Colorado Independent Media Center 

crew374 

The Everland Collective 

Faesthetic Magazine 

Flywheel Arts Collective 

Food Not Bombs 

Free Radio Olympia 

Friction Records 



The Gloo Factory 

Hip Hop Congress 

Houston Independent Media Center 

Iron Compass Records 

Iron Rail Bookstore 

KDHXFM881 

Kill Radio' 

Kitchen Sink Magazine 

Ladyfest Richmond 

Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center 

Madison Infoshop 

Media Alliance 

Media Magicians 



Moment 

New York City Grassroots Media Coalition 

Pittsburgh Independent Media Center 

Prometheus Zine 

rad art 

Richard Hugo House s ZAPP 

(Zine Archive and Publishing Protect) 
7 Corners Collective (7CC) 
Slave Magazine 
Submerge 411 

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center 
WUAG 103 1 
Zine World A Reader s Guide to the Underground I 



hip hop 

hardcore 

punk 

indie rock 

graf writers 

breakers 

artists 


i 






1 il 


1 


A SISTER-CITY CELEBRATION 

86 th ANNUAL 

TOLEDO AREA ARTISTS 


1 


zinesters 
rabble rousers 


EXHIBITION 


IAKE SOME NOISE 

makesomenoisefest.com 

festival 

July 31, 2004 
Toledo, Ohio 


SELECTIONS FROM THE 

TOYOHASHI CITY MUSEUM, 

JAPAN 

JUNE 11-JULY 25, 2004 




&Sky 

/&>nk 


■*» 


j^ T"F" W ^^ The Toledo Area Artists exhibition is co-organized by the Toledo 

V I u'r^.^2 Museum ol Art and the Toledo Federation of" An Societies It is sponsored 
.A^Gva SSa^sSEE^S. by Sky Hank and is supported, in part, by the Ohio Arts Council. 








1 1 







MAKE ART NOT WAR! 

2 POSTERS. 12 ARTISTS. 1 CLEAR MESSAGE 



IKE ART 









Clamor Magazine and 
Faesthetic Magazine have 
teamed up to otter this exclusive 
set ot 12 pro-art/anti-war 
posters — affordably priced 
to encourage collection AND 
dissemination. 

Each set includes one 11x17 
poster trom each of the following 
artists: brandon bauer • 
Christine wong • faile • upso • 
shepard fairey • mcole schulman 
• josh macphee • emily ryan • 
kozyNdan • cody hudson • ray 
noland • John yates. 
PLUS a free vinyl Make Art Not 
War sticker from vgkids.com! 

Order online using your credit 

card: www.clamormagazine.org 

or by sending check or 

well-concealed cash to: 

Clamor 

PO Box 20128 

Toledo, OH 43610 

clamormagazine.org 
faesthetic.com 



t 



r /5 



($20 in Canada $2Selsewhere) 



26 TRACKS, INCLUDING 15 UNRELEASED SONGS RY: 

AGAINST ME! • ALKALINE TRIO • ANTI-FLAG • THE ATARIS 

AUTHORITY ZERO • DENALI • DESCENDENTS • EPOXIES 

THE FRISK THE GET UP KIDS- JELLO BIAFRA with D.O.A. 

LESS THAN JAKE • MINISTRY • NEW FOUND GLORY • NOFX 

NONE MORE BLACK • THE OFFSPRING • PENNYWISE 

- RISE AGAINST • RX BANDITS • SOCIAL DISTORTION- 

-s THE SOVIETTES ■ STRIKE ANYWHERE • STRUNG OUT -> 

/ SUM 41 • WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY^ 

fatwreck.com tfj£^ punkvoter.com 



/ 



^SSe